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How To Revive The Lost Art Of Connecting

In this social media world, where your best friend is just a private message away, we have somehow lost the ability to truly connect. Sadly, it's become a lost art.

In a previous post, Beware The Nextperts, I talk about how millenniums (and Gen X, Y and Zs) rely heavily on text, chat and private messaging to stay connected.

But, they don't know how to hold a conversation that lasts more than 140 characters, or that isn't peppered with acronyms and text shorthand.

The art of connecting - truly connecting - involves real conversations with real people. It's time to revive that lost art!

What does that look like? Here's the scenario:

1. Connect with someone on LinkedIn. This may be because they sought you out or the other way around. OR you were introduced by a mutual friend.

2. Offer to set up a *GASP* phone call (Skype or otherwise) to compare notes, learn about their business and tell them about yours.

3. If they're local, offer to meet for coffee and have that conversation in person.

That's all it takes. Welcome back to REAL connecting.

One of my favorite sayings is "treat your connections like they're standing right in front of you."

The essence of this phrase is simple: we are people, not machines. We need true human interaction, not 140 character catch phrases in order to really interact.

Take the time to get to know the people you are connected with online. Find out how you can be of service to them.

Reconnect with those you connected with a year ago, two years ago.

Try this challenge: email or call at least 10 connections a week you have not been in contact with (liking their discussion or post doesn't count!) in the last 6 months.

See what happens as you revive the lost art of connecting and turn online relationships into something more meaningful.


Chuck Hester is the Chief Communications Officer for Big Think Innovation, a business architect consultancy that helps companies plan, grow and build their futures. He is also a LinkedIn trainer and speaker, helping businesses get the most out of LinkedIn, while teaching them how to communicate effectively. Contact him directly at

Need help with LinkedIn? Feel free to message Chuck and ask about one-on-one and group LinkedIn Executive Training.


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