Let's talk about – Authentic Connections

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I might be the worst when it comes to traditional networking.

Especially with so much of my community and work being online (at least for now), making an authentic connection is a challenge.

The connections I've made in real life have been because we have spent time together, learning about one another with a detail that shows we care. When you're meeting online, you have no commitment to be consistently present. You can always respond another time. I've attended a few social events myself (Seattle Business Babes!) and while I learned a lot from the speakers, I didn't mingle as much as I wanted. I felt like the topics other people were discussing weren't the most applicable to me and I just have a hard time with adults in general (I don't know exactly why, since I'm legally an adult already). I wanted to ask them questions, but maybe they wouldn't have been too interested in asking me questions, or even responding. I just wasn't in the same place as they were.

Of course, a lot of building authentic relationships is putting yourself into the conversation and sharing your own thoughts into the conversation.

What has helped you to make authentic connections with people inside and outside of your field? How do you start (and continue) a conversation? How do you avoid becoming transactional or business-dependent?

I'm sure there are many of you that are way better at building these connections (like Justine in Issue 8!) so please share your experiences below, I'd love to learn from you!