September 21, 2017

Connectional Intelligence: What It Is and Why It’s Important, with Erica Dhawan


Are you familiar with the term, Connectional Intelligence? It’s the ability to create and drive greater value by effectively harnessing your networks and relationships. Erica Dhawan says it’s the next, greatest trait or skill that leaders will use to bring change to their workplaces and the world. She believes our greatest tools and resources are in the places we least expect them to be, and our connections and networks are what put us in touch with those resources and makes us aware of them. I’ve invited Erica Dhawan on this episode of Real Relationships to hear what her research has revealed about the power of connectional intelligence, so I hope you listen.

Want to improve your connectional intelligence? Here are some ways you can do it now!

In many ways it’s not who you know that is important, it’s how you engage with the people you know. You want to learn how to maximize the connections and networks you already have to bring greater value to your entire circle of connections. You improve your connectional intelligence by learning to ask different kinds of questions, by keeping clear on who is in your circle who has something to offer to the people you are interacting with presently. Those are all ways you can connect intelligently. Find out more about how you can improve your connectional intelligence from my guest, Erica Dhawan, on this episode.

The 5 Cs of connectional intelligence. Learn them and grow your business.

There is a cognitive surplus within most organizations, a pool of knowledge and experience that is already available to the group. It’s vital for leaders to build teams of people who are able to mine that information and knowledge in ways that help the overall organization utilize it for the benefit of the company and its clients. The people you’re looking for to be a part of that team are ones who have the 5 Cs of connectional intelligence: curiosity, combination, community, courage, and combustion. You can find out what those mean and how you can learn more about the idea of C.I. from this episode of Real Relationships.

If you’re trying to improve your relationships with your contacts, it’s not just about follow-up.

When most people think about good connections they think of developing an organized, systematic way of following up with their contacts. Of course, that’s important, but it takes a lot more than that to improve your relationships with contacts. Let’s take a business prospect as an example. You need to be asking yourself, “How do you bring the knowledge inside your organization to bear on that client’s needs? How do you grow the potential of the deal by enabling your potential clients to meet with service partners who can help them understand how to use your resources and theirs to gain the thing they’re looking for?” Those are the ways you make the most of your network of connections, and on this episode, my guest Erica Dhawan tells us how.

Are you interested in learning what type of connector you are? Here’s a free tool you can use.

Do you know what type of connector you are? For example: Are you more of a thinker who likes to connect around ideas? Or are you an enabler who likes to connect with people through meetings, phone calls, or networking events? Or perhaps you’re an executor - a person who likes to connect around some action point? You need to know - and you need to know how to use your connection style to build better, more valuable relationships within your circle of influence. On this episode, you’ll be offered a free assessment so that you can discover your unique type of connectional intelligence.

Outline of this great episode

  • [0:31] Who is Erica Dhawan and why I’m having her on the show.
  • [3:01] What is connectional intelligence and why is it important?
  • [5:53] How can you know if you have connectional intelligence?
  • [13:05] What can be done to develop your connectional intelligence?
  • [17:30] How can connectional intelligence helped Erica’s company grow?
  • [20:49] The connection Erica made that’s impacted her the most.
  • [23:15] The one most non-obvious but most important tactic for building meaningful connections.

Resources & Links mentioned in this episode