it’s all about connection, life is. and yet we expect business to work in its own special way where we can get whatever information we want from people without ever working to build those connections first.

if you ask for help, there will be some people who will help simply because that’s their natural inclination. however, the majority of the people—the ones who likely have the specific information you need, or are in the best political position to help you out—probably won’t because there is no trust built between you. when you ask someone for help, they want to know that if the roles were reversed, you’d be there to offer them the same support.

how do you build that trust without connection?

that’s why the social interactions we have with others are so important; those trivial conversations about entirely unrelated topics that have nothing to do with business. even something as seemingly small as a quick 30 second conversation about the weather while getting a drink at the water cooler helps to build that connection. those conversations create positive social capital which we draw on and which prime our brains for interaction. though once that social capital is used, you must replenish it; but here’s the best part: it’s entirely renewable and there’s no limit to how much you can gain.

so, share. aggressively. talk to people. have conversations about what’s important to them, not to you. spend the time to build up that social capital before you need to draw on it and create the connections that you need in order to flourish in the 21st century where everyone is somehow linked to everybody.

it’s all about connection, life is. and i don’t expect business to be any different.

you shouldn’t either.