2006-07-14 4:05 AM

Maven with Connector Tendencies

I enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink last summer and intend to read any other books he publishes. I finally was motivated enough to seek out his first book after hearing recommendations and/or quotes from at least three sources this week.

As I got into the second chapter of The Tipping Point I was pretty sure I was not a Connector. I confirmed that by scoring just below average on Gladwell’s surname survey. I was surprised to find that I have a number of Connector tendencies that I might nurture.

What makes someone a Connector? The first — and most obvious — criterion is that Connectors know lots of people. They are the kinds of people who know everyone.

But he takes it beyond the “extraordinary knack of making friends and acquaintances.” Gladwell notes that this collection of people is not something to be wielded as part of a business strategy, but that Connectors “simply like people.” They are not selective about whom they form weak ties with — unlike so many others who make a distinction between the people “worth” investing time in and those who are not.

Another attribute of Gladwell’s Connectors is that they often belong to a number of different subcultures or “worlds”. The majority of people have one or two worlds within which they interact: their career and possibly a hobby. One Connector Gladwell interviewed had been a part of at least ten different worlds over the course of her adult life.

I was also surprised how much I resonated with the description of Gladwell’s Salesman. I do not consider sales my calling by any means, but I was impressed at his distinction between people trying to sell for the seller’s benefit and how a Salesman can be persuasive by recommending win-win options that their client may not have considered otherwise.

Gladwell’s Salesman description contains concepts such as congruence, behavioral flexibility, and the fact that people are always communicating with much more than words. I really resonated with these since they are central NLP tenets.

While I may be more attentive to Salesman characteristics in the future I am not likely to spend much time developing that or my Connector-ness. I would not have guessed from the name but I have nearly full-blown Maven characteristics and am much happier with the thought of nurturing Maven tendencies than working on either of the other two.

Mavens collect information rather than people.

The critical thing about Mavens, though, is that they aren’t passive collectors of information. It isn’t just that they are obsessed with how to get the best deal on a can of coffee. What sets them apart is that once they figure out how to get that deal, they want to tell you about it too.

Mavens share information but tend not to apply peer pressure (as Salesmen would).
The Maven is more than just an expert who talks about subjects they love. Mavens will talk with a person about a subject because they love people and want to help them. “Mavens are really information brokers, sharing and trading what they know.”

So, as I release various information products over time I will be paying attention and creating win-win offers while fulfilling my craving to share. You can do your part by responding to what I have to offer.

If you haven’t done so yet make sure you sign up for the newsletter so we can start to share some more information!

Posted by Wayne Buckhanan No Comments »

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