Have you ever heard of the term “connect-working” before? I promise you that it’s not just another cheesy phrase for the word, networking! According to my research, the first person to coin this word/phrase was author Anna McCoy in her book, “Woman, Act Now.” Back in 2008, McCoy wrote, “Networking is driven by the question, ‘What’s in it for me?’ Conversely, connect-working operates by the question, ‘What’s in it for others?’”
To bring clarity between the similarities and differences between connect-working and networking, I created a framework to better illustrate how each activity can be used as an “ASSET” for building personal and professional relationships. I’m not saying that one is better than the other, but for the purposes of this blog post, I’ll be placing more emphasis on connect-working because it might seem like a more novel idea.
In this framework, ASSET stands for:
A — Authenticity
S — Service
S — Self-worth
E — Expectations
T — Trust
Please see the following illustration for more details.
If I were to define “connect-working,” I would say that it’s a system for building authentic relationships to serve others with humility. Specifically, the cultivation of weak and strong ties for human flourishing.
Although some executives and entrepreneurs have a natural talent for connect-working and networking, I don’t think many people invest enough time in building relationships with sincerity. I won’t claim to be an expert in either arena myself, but as I get older I’ve truly learned the value of building relationships that have real depth, which takes time, care and energy, like the creation of a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. I’ve certainly made many mistakes along the way and have lost connections with people that I truly miss. But life zooms way beyond my regrets and I hope that by sharing this framework you might get a head start on cultivating more ties for human flourishing. Of course, there is a time and place for using both assets, but don’t forget, building sincere relationships either way takes a considerable about of soft-skills! In case you might be interested in learning more about how to further develop your soft-skills, aka “power skills,” be on the lookout for my next blog post.
So, what do you think about my ASSET framework? Which is more important to you at this current moment? Do you think you should be doing more Connect-working or Networking during this COVID-19 pandemic?
If you’ve tried to implement this state of mind before, I would love to hear your story on how it worked for you. Please let me know how you might strengthen the use and purpose of either particular asset. And if you’re interested in hearing how I’ve been connect-working with fellow entrepreneurs & executives, please listen to a couple of my shows!