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I’m tired of the word ‘Networking’.

I did a quick search in my email inbox to capture the messages that included either the word ‘Network’ or ‘Networking’ in the Subject line. Here are just a few of the results:

“Expand your Network”; “Updates in your Network”; “Network before work”; “Upcoming Networking Events”; “Alumni Networking”; “Join Our Network”; “Expand your Network Today”; “Grow your Network”; “Network After Work”; “Networking from Home”; “Expand your Network Tomorrow”…

And if I bothered to do a similar search across different social media platforms the list would require several pages of scrolling.

Look – I get it. We all get it! Getting out there and networking is important. And there are many forums where one can network. Networking helps to grow your business, to meet great people, to educate yourself, to open the door for great opportunities, to become aware of new trends and to improve as a professional individual.

However, it’s important to remember that the goal of networking is not just to grow your ‘network’, it’s to ‘connect’. Where networking with others expands your personal ‘contact list’, connecting establishes strong, powerful relationships with people and companies that will help improve your career and your life.

How much better would we understand the needs of our targets if we truly connected with them? How much faster would we be able to solve our clients’ problems if we knew their visions and goals? How much more business would we close if we established powerful trusted connections with all of our prospects?

If you attend a trade show, conference or event and meet dozens of people and collect a hundred business cards — you’ve done some great networking. Yet if you bond with just one individual that adds tremendous value to your business or your life – this new connection might possibly outweigh your entire network of contacts.

Let’s get to a place where our email inboxes are stuffed with true ‘connections’ that will make our world stronger.

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Lou Diamond is the Founder & CEO of Thrive – a leading consulting and coaching company helping the best people and companies become even more amazing. He is also the author of the newly released international best-selling book “Master the Art of Connecting“.