The Magic of Connecting

I have a special reverence for those occasions when I meet a person and step into his or her life for the very first time. You never know what surprises await. The person you’re about to meet may have won a Pulitzer Prize, climbed Mt. Everest, or served time for bank robbery. As a person’s story gradually unfolds before you, it will be quite easy to tell if there are sparks of mutual interest that could ignite for future encounters.

Whenever you first meet someone, you take a risk — but that’s how all good relationships start. They start with an element of chance, the chance that the other person might become a good friend or perhaps a trusted business associate based on common interests, shared experiences, and perhaps some good old-fashioned intuition.

But if you’re not willing to risk a first encounter, there’s little hope of developing any relationships. Call me foolish, but I relish these opportunities because, even when the worst-case scenario does occur, I still end up learning a great deal about human nature. There is never any real failure in the connection laboratory, just occasional setbacks.

In reality, first-time connections are golden opportunities for future relationships and in the business world, connections and relationships are everything. Just try conducting business without them! You won’t get very far — and that will be especially true in the 21st century jobscape where the opportunities for business growth will be heavily dependent on the strength and abundance of personal relationships.

Determine Someone’s Wants / Needs / Desires (W/N/D)

Let me share a special technique that creates an immediate bond with another person. The technique is to get people talking about their W/N/D (wants/needs/desires). It’s an incredible weapon in your networking arsenal.

This is how it plays out in conversation: You pick up a casual remark about selling Girl Scout cookies or coaching the swim team, for example. That then gives you a hook on which to hang questions, express interest, and fuel a conversation. The best part is that your desire to learn about someone else frequently triggers reciprocal inquiries because people are naturally curious. Presto! You’ve just established a connection. Whether it deepens or dissolves from this point on is totally up to the two of you.

This Article was Written by Rod Colon and Originally Featured on

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