Be Connecting + Raghu Sundara

The GSD Factor life consists of six main attributes: Be Confident, Be Inquisitive, Be Imaginative, Be Present, Be Resilient, and Be Influential.

Throughout 2023 we will also have guest attributes make their appearance as we explore the fullness of the GSD Factor life.  Our first guest was Be Intentional.  Our next guest is Be Connecting.

In this post-pandemic world, getting out and meeting people face to face is gaining more and more momentum.  Humans are hungry for in-person live events.  They have been there, done that and got the t-shirt ten times over on the virtual digital meetings.  Humans want to connect with people, and this is a healthy, good thing.  I believe there is an opportunity for balance between in-person and virtual events, and we will eventually find that event balance again.  

As we get back into connecting in person, there are three things that PR thought leader Nora DiNuzzo recommends: “People need to KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST you – in that order.”  Nora was specifically speaking to those that are pitching products and services and how to increase business, but I believe this rings true for anyone out there connecting with others.  New acquaintances need to know you, like you and trust you to be a solid new connection.  Old acquaintances need to re-know you, re-like you, re-trust you and vice versa.  Why?  

While Covid changed the world we live in, it affected all of us emotionally and mentally.  We have evolved and changed as humans, and as we reconnect with the world and with our people, we need to check in and make sure that those connections have evolved with us, made us stronger or evolved away from us.  

On this subject of Be Connecting I would like to introduce you to master connector, Raghu Sundara who started Always Be Connecting as a way to help people make connections in the professional community.  Raghu, thank you for joining us.

Raghu, please share with our readers what gap you saw in this space and the why behind starting Always Be Connecting?  

I saw a gap of too many people that cared more about getting referrals and instant gratification than relationships and being a giver.  Networking is a marathon not a sprint.  People should not expect instant returns on their time invested in networking.  I read Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann about five years ago, and I learned a lot from it about being more than just your occupation to people.  It taught me to focus on being a problem-solver for people even if it has nothing to do with my job.  It inspired me to be a connector who happens to own an insurance agency.  I started doing 20 meet-ups per month with business owners in my local networking arenas, and before I knew it, I had met with over 1,000 people in four years.  Seeing the need for problem solving for business owners who needed assistance with growing their networks in the right ways inspired me to open up Always Be Connecting at the beginning of 2022.

Through your experience in helping individuals, what are some of the most common struggles people face with connecting or reconnecting with others?

Some people struggle with confidence of being amongst a group of people.  Others tend to have the pressure of generating new business sooner than later, which causes them to be takers instead of givers.  The biggest opportunity that I see people have is their time management struggles.  Most people have a business plan that helps guide them with properly allocating time for marketing and operations for the daily functions of their business, but they don’t normally incorporate a networking plan that could help them with truly connecting with people at the right time and building strong relationships.

Let’s dig a little deeper to understand the correlation between connecting and networking.

Networking is meeting people.  Connecting is getting to know their stories and their why so you can open doors for them and introduce them to others for collaboration.  Connecting is about building relationships with people and knowing their business process.  

Thank you, Raghu, for your nuggets of wisdom and shared experiences.  I think everyone who is reading this will agree that activating that muscle of Be Connecting is like when you are getting into a new habit; you have to do a little at a time on a consistent basis, so it becomes second nature.  

For those that are newer to connecting or want to grow in the area of connecting, the platform that we recommend most is LinkedIn for business professionals.  Reach out to us here at the GSD Factor if you want some mentoring on how to set up or relaunch your presence on LinkedIn.  Consistency is key, and with some of our basic steps and only a few minutes a day, you can build an amazing network of connections that can lead to amazing possibilities for your professional life.