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Perfecting Connecting®: Learning to Speak the Language of Others

Human beings—with their distinctive personality preferences, temperaments, and natural talents—are unique! Because of their differences, my research over the past decade tells me people are looking for clues about how to connect well with others, often through networking.

This article focuses on how human temperament plays a role in consciously creating the connections you want in every world you touch. The more worlds you have your feet planted in, the richer your connections will be. It also discusses the importance of speaking to individual personality “preferences” of those you’re trying to connect with while honoring your own uniqueness.

Yahoo! Personals

Transactional vs. Connectional Networking
Networking has become the single most important life skill in determining business and personal success. Your ability to be connected within your organization and with outside contacts may very well determine your next sale, promotion, or job offer.

However, my clients tell me all the time how they wish people came equipped with “instruction manuals” to provide instant data on their core values, needs, skills and talents. Knowing what language and behavior clues to listen for when you’re talking with a new contact would accelerate your ability to make a positive and long-lasting connection.

Networking occurs at all levels of society every day—in schools, offices, neighborhoods, meetings, and at social gatherings. Sadly, most people practice transactional networking, made up of interactions solely intended to complete a transaction. Transactional networkers engage people only when they need to make a sale, find a job, or acquire a lead. As soon as they get what they’re looking for, they don’t talk to these contacts again until they want to make another transaction. Transactional networkers are often perceived as “network users” or, as I like to call it, “network drive-byers.”

By contrast, connectional networking occurs when you cultivate interpersonal relationships so they will grow and prosper. When you nurture these relationships while expecting nothing in return, you’re practicing connectional networking. Connectional networkers believe you can have anything you want in life if you help others in your network get what they want and need first.

Here’s how an international business broker decided to change the way he approaches his network contacts after attending my seminar on Perfecting Connecting. He said,

“While I have always included personal details about my contacts and tried to connect with them on a personal level, I never fully thought about how I could be a valuable resource to them. I failed to link the simple fact that I am more valuable to my network contacts when I can help them achieve their goals. So when I returned to my office Monday, I approached my stack of callbacks with a new game plan and renewed vigor. I now hold in my hands the key to my own success . . . it’s their success!”


Cultivating New Contacts
Connectional networking is like planting a field. When you’re cultivating new contacts, you put seeds in carefully selected soil, water and fertilize them, pull out the weeds, and generally nurture the plants over time. You don’t throw seeds in the ground one morning and expect to see a plant blossom that afternoon. Real connectors know that good things come to those who can hang in there through several harvests. When whatever you nurture begins to bloom—look out!

Some networkers simply give up too soon because they fail to see the strengths that their personality patterns and natural talents bring to the networking process—their temperament. To really connect with others, therefore, it’s critical to learn the role of temperament in driving human behavior, values, and communication agendas.

Why is it important to know your temperament preference? Because that understanding will increase your self awareness, which is the key to better self management. Knowing about the other temperaments will help you understand how people are both different and similar from each other. It provides clues for knowing how to adapt your behavior to cultivate good connections. When you can do that, you’re on your way to “Perfecting Connecting®! ”

>> Continue to Part 2 >>

© Sarah Michel. All Rights Reserved. For more information visit

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