So, You’re Not a Connector?

June 28th, 2012 | Guest Contributor | 12 Comments

Guest Post by Jamie Garantziotis

I was having a conversation with a fellow member of the communication community recently when they mentioned that a certain pro wasn’t really a connector.

Now, while this was in the context of making introductions, I was a little surprised. And it started thinking a bit more about the modern communicator as a “connector.”

In the “hand-shaking” sense of the word, it’s true that some communicators are more extroverted than others … and are more than comfortable meeting and conversing with others in social and professional environments.

From my experience in these early years of my career, I’ve found that connecting, meeting with, and learning from fellow pros has been the most rewarding part of my professional and social life – and it’s something I’d encourage communicators of all levels and experience to pursue (especially students!).

As a close friend of mine once said to me – you never know who you’ll meet and what kind of a relationship you’ll be able to begin at a meetup, event or simply over coffee. So why wouldn’t you want to be there to pursue and embark upon such opportunities and journeys?

Switching to the side of communication as practice, connecting people to people, and people to information, is at the core of what we as a collective of communicators do.

That is, we build and maintain relationships. And if we do it well, we have the opportunity to be part of a collaborative community (and yes, social and digital media have increased our ability to do so in real-time, and more than ever before).

So, even if you don’t consider yourself to be the most extroverted of types or the life of the party at every meetup or event – remember that you are a connector, and that people, connections and relationships are the core of what you do.

It’s a wonderful wide world out there with endless opportunities to connect, learn and grow.

Go get ‘em.

Image: kheelcenter, Flickr, CC 2.0.

Jamie Garantziotis is an Australian communication professional currently in New York City for three months exploring and enjoying the convergence of media, communication and technology as he looks for work opportunities. When not indulging his passion for media and communication, you’ll find him cycling in search of the perfect cup of specialty coffee.

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11 comments
Shonali
Shonali moderator

I know I'm commenting way late, Jamie, but I thought this was a truly remarkable post. The professionals I remember the most - or who strike the strongest chord - are those who are connectors. They're the ones who say, "You should meet so-and-so." And I'd like to think I'm one of those people, because I genuinely enjoy connecting people, even if there isn't anything in it for me.

Speaking of connectors - you're quite dynamite yourself, Mr. G. :)

JeanneBrown
JeanneBrown

@susanweiner TY for RT and always for the inspiration

Erin F.
Erin F. like.author.displayName 1 Like

Go get 'em is a little too close to gig 'em. ;) Just kidding. I can't really make fun of gig 'em when my youngest brother is an Aggie.

 

You're right; we're all in the business of connecting even if we're more introverted or extroverted. As a more introverted person, I appreciate the people who reach out to me. It makes me realize that I should do the same thing for the other introverts - and maybe even some of the extroverts.

JGarant
JGarant like.author.displayName 1 Like

 @Erin F. We certainly are. Much like yourself, I used to consider myself a bit more introverted. But, like @annedreshfield , I've come to appreciate the value of meeting (IRL and virtually) pros from so many different fields. We all have a unique path, story and experiences from which others can learn. Sure, it can be daunting to show up at a room full of people and start making conversation, but I've found that more often than not everyone there is just like you - and will be extremely generous with sharing their time and thoughts :)

annedreshfield
annedreshfield like.author.displayName 1 Like

I've quickly learned that while I'd probably be happier relaxing at home and being by myself, it's incredibly valuable to get out there and connect with others. So many opportunities have come my way through business contacts or people I've met at functions. It's not that I don't like connecting with people -- I'm just a little shy at first. So when I eventually do get out there, I'm successful. Great reminder. Thanks, Jamie!

JGarant
JGarant like.author.displayName 1 Like

 @annedreshfield No worries Anne, awesome to hear that you're out there enjoying the experience - there's so many wonderful people to meet and things to learn ... such a great time to be in this field. Go get 'em :)

richescorner
richescorner like.author.displayName 1 Like

I think everyone connects in their own way. Some people may feel comfortable connecting with many people, whereas others feel more comfortable with a small closeknit group. In either case, we are making connections with others.

rachaelseda
rachaelseda like.author.displayName 1 Like

I couldn't agree more! Even if you're shy you have to put yourself out there and the more you do that the more comfortable you'll be. Plus, like you I have met extraordinary friends and made connections that have led to opportunities I never could have imagined! I think this is a good post not just for communicators but anyone who wants to be successful!

JGarant
JGarant

 @rachaelseda Thanks Rachael! I think you're so right - it really does apply to anyone - no matter what their field or profession. From the perspective of a communicator, I just feel blessed that so many professionals are engaged in this space and willing to connect with others.  It continues to make this such a fascinating and rapidly evolving journey ... and I'm fortunate enough to be enjoying every minute :)

Paul Dionne
Paul Dionne like.author.displayName 1 Like

Some good points.  I'd add that connecting is also about getting to know people well.  It doesn't have to be strangers.  If you spend time knowing your friends better, and keeping an eye out for them then you can be a connector more than someone who meets everyone but never keeps an eye out for anybody.

JGarant
JGarant

 @Paul Dionne Thanks for your comment Paul, totally agree. It's one thing to meet someone, but you also want those connections to have substance - be it your childhood friends or an industry colleague you've just met. Without it, it's as if you're just meeting people, not truly connecting. 

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