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Supercharging your relationship building
Now that you have a framework for establishing a long-term relationship, you can now focus on supercharging this relationship. Remember that every relationship takes a piece of your life and you should be willing to give away that piece of your life as an investment towards building that relationship. In the initial days you build relationships, you have a lower leverage (as there are only a few relationships that you can gain instant leverage from) but as you progress in this journey you have a higher leverage, and you can get a lot out of every hour of your life. Once you are committed to a long-term relationship with the other person (let’s say John), you can supercharge this further by following this simple ﬁve step process.
#1. Observe both of your networks
Both you and John had your own network before you met each other. The network has the same characteristics in general. There are some people close to you and there are some people not so close to you – geographically and emotionally. While you may think that you have a network of hundreds and thousands, let’s focus on ﬁltering it to those connections where you know what matters to each one in your network. They may be geographically far away from you, but you are in contact with them at least at a reasonably regular frequency.
#2. Identify potential connections
The next step is simple and straightforward. Of all the key connections you have, identify those connections that can make an impact on John’s goals and desires. For the sake of discussion, let’s assume that you identiﬁed three people- Fred, Sara and Dana who might beneﬁt from building a relationship with John. So, there are three potential connections:
Fred : John
Sara : John
Dana : John
Each of these connections makes sense in the ﬁrst pass. I am sure John will be happy with any of these introductions. But wait!
#3. Filter and ﬁne tune
The qualiﬁcation however is not complete and we need to go through one more level of ﬁltering. Here are some ﬁltering questions:
What can John do to each of these connections?
What impact can he make on these people’s lives?
Who amongst these are open to a new introduction?
Who can give the new relationship the attention it requires?
We all know that timing is everything. If one of your network is in the middle of a tight project with looming deadlines, this may not be the best time to make a new introduction.
What is the past history of such introductions?
What are the track records of these people when you made a new introduction for or to them?
When you ﬁlter and ﬁne tune, maybe Dana and Fred will need to be dropped oﬀ from the potential connection list, leaving only one connection:
Sara :: John
#4. Make introductions
Connecting people is one of the most beautiful things that you can do for two people. Without you, chances that the two of them would have met NOW are quite remote. By ﬁltering and ﬁne tuning, you are setting up an opportunity for each person – an opportunity to get further to their hopes, dreams and desires – faster than they could or an opportunity to reach to levels higher than they originally anticipated. Your job is now to connect Sara and John. Make it as simple as possible.
Provide the contact information for each of the parties and the reason why they both should meet each other. That’s it!
#5. Step away
This is the most important part. I learned this from one of my heroes, Tim Sanders (the author of “Love is the Killer App” and “The Likeability Factor”.) You are not a broker and you are not making the connections to get something out for yourself. Your best bet to make this work is to step away and let both the parties develop a long-term relationship. You don’t have exclusive rights on any relationship and if you try and pretend that you do, you will only frustrate yourself and others in the process.
How do we execute the “Step Away” part?
It’s easy and you can do it as part of the introduction. You can say something like, “I hope you both take it up from here. I am happy to help if there is a need, but otherwise, I wish you both the very best.” With this, you are giving a clear signal that there is nothing more that you are looking for as part of this connection and you have stepped away, making room for a new relationship to blossom and prosper.
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