September 8, 2020
Recently, I met with some of my connections when the question “how do you need help?” came up. The group quickly got quiet and awkward stares surrounded.
It was a group of seven people but only three of us had an actual answer. I thought it was interesting because all of us were there to try and take that next step in our career, yet only a few of us had an answer on what help we need to get there.
We develop business connections to create new opportunities and grow. Many of us are unable to pinpoint the help we need to spur that growth. Without getting past the struggle to ask for help, it is impossible for your business connections to help you grow.
The secret is to become vulnerable to your business connections. This means opening yourself up, being genuine and showing the real you. Being genuine with your business connections will allow them access to your true self, giving them a much better idea of how to help you reach your dream.
The Wall of Vulnerability
When you first meet somebody, there is a hypothetical wall. This is the wall that divides the version of yourself that you portray to strangers and the true version of yourself.
The version of yourself that you want to portray to strangers is positive, confident and does not have worries about the future. This version of yourself tells people that everything is okay, even when it is not. This version of yourself is almost “on-stage” and it is usually pretty obvious to the outside eye.
Then there is the true version of yourself. The truth is that everybody worries about the future, has issues and needs some kind of help to reach the next step in their career.
Without breaking the wall and making yourself vulnerable, it is impossible to get the help you need from somebody. Unless you show your connections there are areas you need help in, your connections will be useless in fostering your growth.
The wall is always there when first meeting somebody. It is inevitable. The question is – what are you going to do with it?
Those who never break down the wall and become vulnerable will not receive the great results they expect from their connections. Without showing your genuine self to your connections, you will not be able to foster a real meaningful relationship or get the help you desire.
It is difficult to open up and be vulnerable with connections, especially ones you have just met. But if you do not do so, you will find your connections are much less meaningful and valuable to you.
Although it is difficult to get those you connect with to become vulnerable and show you their true self, there are ways to do it. By being vulnerable and showing your flaws yourself, your connections will begin to be more vulnerable and open about themselves as well. If you keep that wall up and do not show your connections that you have flaws and worries, it will make them much more reluctant to open up. Once you are transparent about yourself, your connections will follow.
Finding common interests outside of business is another way to get your connections to open up. Many people train themselves to put up their wall whenever dealing with someone in a business setting. By finding common interests that do not have to do with business, the other person may become more vulnerable and transparent without even realizing it.
Asking Your Connections
People underestimate the power of asking. Simply asking for help goes a long way.
Last November, I used the power of simply asking for help for the sake of charity. After asking my network to help me give back to our Long Island Community by donating to the Island Harvest Food Bank, we collected enough food to feed over 4,000 Long Island families.
The truth is that people want to help, but many times do not know how. Without asking for help, it is very unlikely you will ever receive it. Ask for help and I’m sure you will receive a lot more than you anticipated.
Asking for help can be difficult. Many of us train ourselves to put up a wall when dealing with other business connections that hides our true selves. But without being vulnerable and showing your flaws, it is impossible to get the help from your business connections that you truly need.
The struggle to ask for help holds back many professionals when making business connections. By breaking the wall and showing your true self to your connections, you will develop meaningful relationships that foster growth in you in business and personally.
If you liked this, you may want to read The Best Answer to the Hardest Networking Question
Not everyone is good at building connections. At Connections4Hire, connecting is our business. We pride ourselves on creating new business opportunities through mutually beneficial connections. Let us help you develop connections into business.
You know your business. Connecting is our business.
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