It is Time for Acknowledgement of Their Gifts and Time!
At school children are still most valued by their ability to learn facts. Once they are a teenager they have to choose their next educational steps, which usually means choosing a study that will help them become a professional in a certain topic. For ‘born’ connectors this educational system brings them some struggles they have to deal with. The connectors are usually not the best at learning facts, they are better at connecting facts. They have the gift to see the bigger picture quicker than others. For them, it is logical that all things are connected. It might take them some time to see the connections because they need more information, but once they connect be sure you listen! They may come up with things you didn’t think of before.
The connectors often start to do a lot of things next to their study or work, in order to be able to use their connector skills. Given their amazing skills in connecting people that is what they will do. They instinctively sense which people should be connected. They are the ones you ask for a referral of a certain person or organization. They usually know someone or someone who knows someone who can help you.
The Business Connector
While specialists in certain topics, as lawyers and financial advisors, are usually valued and paid. Business connectors usually have to fight for it. Often they are not capable of fully flourishing in organizations, because of the created ‘specialist’ profiles. They sometimes even get into trouble because of their struggles with the ‘box’ they are put in. Their gift to see ahead of time in connections between people, organizations and topics is not always appreciated. What they see as future potential or future risks might not be very clear yet when looking at the facts, so it is not always easy for them to explain in ‘business’ language why a certain action should or should not be taken.
Colleagues often go to connectors in their team to ask for the right person to contact, creative ideas for an event or to share about the personal issues they have with a certain colleague. They do not realize or simply don’t care that those short moments of contact all together cost the connector a lot of time. The connector not only spends 10 minutes on sending the email to connect them with the right person but also 10 minutes on sharing the creative ideas for the event and 10 minutes (or more ;)) for listening to the frustrations about that colleague.
All those connections can lead to a discrepancy in the time-money balance of the connector. The lucky connectors find a profession where their job is to connect. The less lucky ones, also because of the lack of acknowledgement they have received throughout their lives for their gifts, are trying to find their way in a ‘specialist’ profession. It’s hard to not do what comes naturally and intuitively to you though. Therefore they often end up with a lot of work on their plate. Work that is often not seen as money worth.
The World Connector
It might seem easier to look at topics from one perspective and to ignore current or future connections related to it. Sometimes it is preferable, necessary or just easier for that moment to think inside a box. But if we look at the bigger picture of today’s world. A world in which more and more knowledge is being shared easily since the internet. A world in which, thanks to social media, more and more people are able to connect. It is time to acknowledge the gifts of those born connectors.
We have come to the realization that we cannot solve certain world’s problems without looking at what is related, connected to the problem. Connectors are needed to reveal the bigger picture. It is clarity in reality that we need not in a specialty.