• Dr Marisa

The Power of Connecting: So Much More Than Networking!

Updated: Apr 14

Quite honestly – I am not the best networker – walking into a ‘room’ with lots of people - often strangers and giving/listening to multiple elevator pitches as I mingle while balancing some delicious looking finger food in one hand, and in the other my phone for recording the details of these new contacts (No business cards here ;-)

But connecting – that I love to do (and I think I’m better at it). Having a 1-1 coffee with someone and really talking with them – each listening and learning about the other person. And being open to supporting each-other in some way – sometimes it will be sharing experiences and lessons learnt, and at different times offering referrals or exploring potential projects.

So, what’s the difference between networking and connecting?

A quick search of the Internet found these explanations:

“To put it bluntly, networking will yield you a drawer full of business cards and connecting will yield you some meaningful relationships. “*

“Networking is about knowing more people. Connecting is about knowing people more. The distinction is obvious. You know a lot of people professionally and personally, but you are connected to only a fraction of those you know.” **

In short, connecting, unlike networking, is a long-term investment in relationship building.

Networking is an avenue to meet and screen people – much like speed dating. It’s a starting point – it’s up to you however which people you choose to try and build a connection with. So, while some of the people you network with will become connections – others will just become names in your contact list. And that’s ok – we can’t connect with everyone – but wow – when we choose and succeed in developing connections the benefits are endless – not only for work matters, but for our overall wellbeing.

I guess the next question then becomes - is there a difference between a connection and a friend? I don’t think it matters – what matters most is recognising the importance and power of human connection!

And a special big thank you goes to my indi group ‘connections’ for helping me truly appreciate the difference between networking and connecting!

*See https://www.elliottconnection.com/power-connecting-vs-networking/

**See http://www.jaburgwilk.com/news-publications/networking-vs-connecting

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