Connecting people is an art. Connecting opens up a world of potential opportunity for yourself and others. All of us are connected in some way, but many of us don’t use our networks.

Are you a connector? I ask this question as there are a few people that I know who are great connectors and I wonder what makes them unique.

According to Malcolm Gladwell in his book Tipping Point there are three types of people, Mavens, Connectors and Salespeople:

Connectors make change happen through people. They galvanize people. They’re natural hubs. That’s just the way they’re oriented to the world. These are people who, every time you ask a question, start flipping a Rolodex in the back of their mind, saying, “Who do I know who knows this? Who do I know who has done this? Who do I know that I need to connect you with?” They love connecting you with people, because they’re all about the people.”

When the topic of networking comes up in conversations a lot of people say, “Oh, I don’t like to network.” But in reality we network each and every day and we don’t realize that we’re doing it.  We are constantly connecting without consciously ‘networking’. Do you use these connections? To take it one step further, do you connect people you meet with other people you know? If you do this, it can be quite powerful.

I have been told through my friends and colleagues that I am a connector. Having never thought of myself this way, I lean in and ask “why”?  They tell me it’s because I always love meeting new people, learning new ideas and that I genuinely want to help others. I’ve always aspired to be like the great connectors that I know and these attributes are something we can all aspire to. We can all learn the art of connecting.

Three tips on being a connector:

1. Be authentic. Approach connecting with sincerity and come from a place in your heart of well-being.

2. Be timely and follow through. Always do what you say you are going to do.

3. Be mindful of your network. Your network is like your reputation, you need to be protective and strategic in who you know and how you tap into their network. It is a two way relationship, so GIVE more than you take.