How to Become Insanely Well-Connected - Deepstash

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How to Become Insanely Well-Connected

https://firstround.com/review/how-to-become-insanely-well-connected/

firstround.com

How to Become Insanely Well-Connected
Fall 1996. A young Chris Fralic is selling software for Oracle. He's not sure what he wants to do next, but he's always been curious about venture capital. And then some unusual magic happens - a friend offers to introduce him to Kevin Compton, a vaunted name in VC.

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Convey genuine appreciation

Actively project warmth and high energy. People like you when they feel liked by you.

To make it clear you’re interested in the other person, think about what they know that you don’t. What do you actually want to learn in the interaction? Focus on that so that they can walk away knowing they added value too.

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Listen with intent

Listen with intent

Being a good listener is about two things: 

  1. Demonstrating that you’ve heard exactly what was said by the other person.
  2. Encouraging them to continue. This breaks down into what’s called “backchanneling” — offering short, enthusiastic responses as the other person talks (i.e. “yeah” “mm-hmm” “totally” “I can see that”), and asking follow up questions that reference the information you were just given.

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Use humility markers

Acknowledging your own fallibility and human imperfection can go a long way toward making yourself relatable. Especially if there’s a power dynamic where someone is asking for your advice, attention or help, you want to put the other person at ease.

Taking the time to call or meet in person also expresses humility.

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Offer unvarnished honesty

There are a lot of reasons why people don’t share what they truly think in professional situations.

Just remember to root your honesty in what will actually have utility for the other party. This will set a good tone for all future conversations.

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Blue-sky brainstorm

Maybe you can’t provide what someone is looking for. But, if you can change the angle or way they’re thinking about something by openly brainstorming with them, you make them feel like they got something special and unexpected. 

It’s key that you’re brainstorming with them, not for them.

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Ending on a positive note

End every meeting or conversation with the feeling and optimism you’d like to have at the start of your next conversation with the person.

Assume you’re going to run into everyone again.

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Prepare in advance

If you want to connect with someone professionally to move your goals forward, you need to know exactly why you care about that person or their company. And you need to know how to articulate it succinctly. 

If you know you’re headed into a call or event and want to make a good impression on certain people, create mini dossiers for them.

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Make People Feel Important

A charming person makes everyone, regardless of their status, feel important. People around them feel heard, understood, and worthy of their time.

Remember Names

It feels good to hear our own names, and when someone uses it we're more likely to pay greater attention to them.

Use mnemonic devices if you have a hard time remembering names.

Compliment With Confidence

When someone known for their charisma compliments you, it gives the impression that it is not only sincere but valuable, because of their natural confidence.

4 more ideas

Asking questions does not make you look like an idiot

On the contrary, questions are shortcuts. All top performers use ignorance as a tool. The goal is to get shit done, not to look good in the moment.

Holmes practices mindfulness

Mindfulness means focusing on only one problem or activity at a time.

Our brain cannot do two things at once. “What we believe is multi-tasking is really the brain switchin...

Organize Your Brain Attic to remember more

The “brain attic” is Holmes’s analogy for the human mind and how we store information.  Just consuming information leads to mental clutter that gets difficult to access when you need it.

We are more likely to remember something if we connect it to a sensory experience or previous action, like writing or connecting memories to smells or sounds.

Take a brain break if you want to be more creative

Holmes plays the violin, because it takes him out of his thinking mind and places him in a purely physical state.

“Taking mental holidays can be incredibly productive for creativity", even something as simple as taking a walk in the park during your lunch break instead of eating at your desk.