Folback please… Not once nor twice we get this request after an event. Either it’s a small or big event that invites others to greet us, share us a namecard, or track our social media, make a follow request, and ask us to follow them back.

The question is, why some even bother to make that request, ‘folback please‘? If we are that worth to be followed, that question is no more needed. So, do we have that worth?

Understand that in this fast changing scenes of life, when meet-ups or calls are sometimes blocked by our busyness, when demanding work or business are pulling us to stay away a bit from others, we then make updates through our social media and follow ones’ updates too from their social media. But there is no obligation to do so unless we want to. That feeling of connected as a family, friend, colleague, client, idol, mentee, mentor, and many other types of relationship may trigger us to look for these updates and show them how much we put attention to them. What does it mean then? It means the quality of our relationship play a bigger role of the need to follow these updates, besides other reasons.

Now, let’s talk further, what about with the new people we meet? How do we establish a relationship?

These days, events that connect great people like successful businessmen, established educators, famous sociopreneurs or technopreneurs, youth influencers, high achieving-students, founders, and so many others to the so called high-motivated students, college students, newly graduates, job seekers, etc are just like fungous in the rainy season. So many of the later ones attend events to meet others just to take the benefits of being invited, getting certificates, having more records for their CVs, free submission, coming with friends, visiting new places, and thinking the possibilities to collect name cards, taking pictures, and make insignificant small talks that rarely turn into a tangible, mutually beneficial relationship.

So, we need to stop cheesy networking, and start building a meaningful connection that matters.

When the opportunity does come; initiate then build strong relationships that can boost our personal and professional goals. We should be “super connectors” instead of “plain networkers”. Move away from the transactional orientation for a very short term benefit.

Plain networkers make no listening, they just want to be listened. Worse, they just present themselves there to distribute information about them in the form of name cards, phone numbers, and social media accounts that poorly distributed. They are going to try hard to sell something without even bother the needs of the people they talk to nor care how they respond to it. They are moving fast and often looking over our shoulder finding the next persons they should be getting.

These won’t be the case for the super connectors. Super connectors have that touch of authenticity. They listen. They are genuine in establishing close bonds with people. Even before these come, super connectors keep doing their homework. They keep feeding themselves with knowledge, information, and updates that may give them ways to approach new people in a better strategy. To connect is to present the qualities we have within minutes. We will be empathetic, emotionally connected, intelligent, curious, active listening and have a love for people. These will make the super connectors have a balance; to know people and get known.

This tickles me to question back, which one are you, a networker or a connector?

Sitting with my sweet afternoon