The Value of Authentic Connection

authentic connection3Last fall I had the pleasure of attending the NAWBO (National Association of Women in Business) annual conference in Indianapolis. I had been doing pro bono work on their behalf, bringing the One Page Business Plan protocol to their leadership team. As part of this process, I was invited to present at their national conference. I didn’t know anyone in NAWBO except the team I had been working with and I didn’t even know them other than through our phone and webinar meetings. At the conference I did two workshops, one for chapter leaders and one for the general membership. I connected with lots of women from across the country and had the extra special good fortune to engage beyond the social level with a handful of women. This is where authentic connection showed up.

Right now I am sitting in the Marriott in Coralville, Iowa, having just presented to the annual NAIFA –Iowa conference. Wednesday night I was in Des Moines, sharing my wisdom with some of the NABWO Iowa board and then at a specially hosted NAWBO meeting where I did a One Page Business Plan presentation. These events were offered to me by a woman I met in Indianapolis after an authentic connection occurred. Our connection is quickly becoming friendship and will move beyond the professional, which is an unexpected gift and one that I treasure.

The woman who has been my main contact within NAWBO was coming to California for the regional conference in Sacramento. She lives in Georgia and I invited her to come early and stay at my house so we could get to know one another. We had time before and during the conference and I felt I had brought a new friend into my world, resulting from the genuine connection we had forged.

Women are relational, we are well aware of this and yet I don’t know if we “really know” the true value of business connections that deepen and move beyond business as usual. We likely know it when it happens, but what do we do to manifest a deeper connection with a total stranger that leads to that special feeling of kindred sister, in business and in life?

- Let your true self shine through - Be open to possibility - When invited, embrace the opportunity to go deeper - Show up outside of your usual venues, go places where you are a stranger - Expect the best of yourself and others - Be on the lookout for that sense of deep connection