• Sunday, June 16, 2024
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BusinessDay

Corporates and Connections

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In a digital era where we connect with the rest of the world through a screen, our need for connection is becoming more and more apparent. Humans are social creatures who seek connection with each other, the same is true whether we are at a social event or in the boardroom. Connections are the bloodline to business development and corporate growth.

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People do business with people, and with the pressure on finances; health; restricted movements brought on by the COVID pandemic being able to connect has never been more critical.

The pursuit of connection is what has made social media an integrated part of our everyday life. Taking our networking from traditional forms to online. We often mistake networking to be solely at conferences or pre-ordained business breakfasts, where we hurriedly shake hands, intensely pitch our line of business, swiftly shake hands as we exchange business cards and we with expert thinking, ferociously calculate how this particular connection may be of use in our future or existing business endeavours.

This energy of seeing how we can be served versus how we can add value to others brings energy to the engagement that can make authentic connection near impossible. Networking for me, in essence, should be the art of connection. You commence the act of networking with the understanding of knowing the value you bring, the intention of how you can be of service and with the aim to add value to another.

People can sense when you are out to use them solely for your own benefit. Be authentic, kind and helpful. Engage others with the purpose of establishing a sincere relationship.

I always like to equate relationships to cookie jars. It’s difficult to take something out of the cookie jar without having put anything into the cookie jar. Invest in the relationship, make the effort to aid the other person in accomplishing their agenda, inaugurate rapport and do not selfishly seek the fulfilment of your own desires.

The people who have a vast array of individuals in their network and are able to confidently reach out to these genuine connections to create communally valuable opportunities are known as connectors. Set your sights on being a connector not a selfish leech that drains relationships for your own advantage giving others nothing in return. By being a constant taker, you will build a reputation that will ensure your relationships will be short-lived, as a pose to life-long which is a result of mutual beneficial engagements.

The ability to see others, establish rapport, create a connection, understand what is of importance to them, add value to their life and help solve a problem for them is what true connection and relationship evolution is about.

Learning how to effectively do this by gathering data on digital platforms to expediate the process. It is what big data in essence is all about and in our pursuit for corporate gains we mustn’t forget that it was first all about humans connecting. So the next time a networking opportunity arises don’t just swop business cards, remember that the true magic of networking occurs with an authentic you looking organically grow a relationship by asking the person from you “ How can I help you?”

About the author
Vumile Msweli is a multi-award winning career coach, international speaker and the Chief Executive officer for Hesed Consulting. Hesed is a consulting firm specializing in; career coaching; leadership acceleration; facilitation and training with presence in South Africa; Rwanda; Botswana and Nigeria.

Vumile is the Chief Executive officer for Hesed Consulting which a coaching and consulting firm specializing in commerce acceleration; career coaching; women empowerment; facilitation and training on the African continent, with presence in Nigeria; South Africa; Botswana; Rwanda and affiliates in Namibia; Ghana and Uganda. She has previously worked for reputable multi-national institutions such as Barclays, Investec, Nedbank, First National Bank and Vodafone. Vumile is an Operations; Finance and Strategy executive with experience in both the telecommunications and finance sectors. She has successfully led global teams in Africa (Nigeria; Kenya; Democratic Republic of Congo; Zambia; Lesotho; Ghana; Tanzania; Mozambique and South Africa); and Europe (Scotland; Isle of Man and England).

As a coach Vumile has carved a niche for herself in career coaching. She also services clients in Executive; Financial; Speaking and Mentoring coaching. Vumile is an avid coach and international speaker having spoken in conferences; expos; workshops around the globe on topics such as leadership; women empowerment; finance matters and conducting business in Africa. She is the host of Vumi and Veuve host Women in Commerce as well as has her own regular own radio slot in Botswana’s Duma FM and South Africa’s Kaya FM.