Writing a book is always a humbling process. You have a plan for how it’s going to go and then, surprise surprise, it takes all kinds of turns you don’t see coming. The final version of The Connector’s Advantage has some sections that were not a part of the original outline.
Being a Connector, I talked to a lot of people about the book which evolved into including over two dozen expert’s advice throughout the pages. One of my favorite concepts came from a conversation with author and podcaster Robbie Samuels. The third section of the book is all about expanding your connections and how to be an Inclusive Networker.
Here’s a little excerpt from the book:
“We are in a time in history where showing respect for diversity and cultural awareness is a priority. As a result, there’s an increased sensitivity to what we say and an emphasis on political correctness. I believe most organizations and individuals are navigating with intentions of inclusiveness, though they’re often unsure how to execute on that objective.”
Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day and this concept of an Inclusive Networker has been fresh in my mind. All sorts of groups of people experience bias and struggle with inclusion, in corporate America today, including people of color, older workers, veterans, women, those with disabilities, and the list goes on.
A Connector has diversity, in every form, in their network. It is that breadth that makes someone a Super-Connector.
I tackle this topic in The Connector’s Advantage and, with the input of a few experts, suggest three tips to create a space where people can show up and share more of their full selves. This is how we create an environment of inclusion.
1. Recognize and embrace the unicorn within
How do you stand out? It’s likely that, at some point, this has made you feel uneasy. Instead, embrace it. Your differences give you power. Be an Inclusive Networker, starting with embracing yourself.
2. Don’t call out the differences, call out the similarities
Sometimes similarities are harder to see than differences, but they are always there. Watch your statements and make sure that they make people feel included instead of excluded.
3. Have a Host mindset
There is a difference between inviting someone and welcoming them. Which do you do? It’s not enough to just ask someone to join. Make them feel like they belong. Make them feel valued.
Social interactions are a subtle thing. Did you know that your body language or your level of eye contact can play a huge role in being an Inclusive Networker? It’s true! I talk about this and a lot more in The Connector’s Advantage, which is now available for preorder!