Getting to Yes, And

Susan McPherson: The Lost Art of Connecting


Susan McPherson

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Kelly connects with Susan McPherson about her new book The Lost Art of Connecting: The Gather, Ask, Do Method for Building Meaningful Relationships.

In this book about connection, you talk about the first step has to be connecting with ourselves.

“Well, absolutely, especially if you are going to truly be able to help people, you have to understand what skills you possess and the ways you can be of help.  I talk about your chief differentiating factor. What does every single one of us have that makes us unique? And it goes far beyond our DNA. But to be able to find out, truly, how you can be of service to others and actually step up and make a difference., you really have to understand what that difference is. Heading into later my later years, I have come to the understanding that we all can be of service. We can all help one another and it doesn't mean having to have millions of dollars.”

In improvisation, we talk about the need to be others focused and you talk about that idea when you are trying to connect with someone - especially the first time.

“When I walked into a room  - and probably even before my professional career started -  I would walk in a room and no one would see me. So to engage in a conversation with someone I learned early on I had to make it about them. And I don't want it to seem like I was being manipulative, but if you want someone to talk to you, you learn and you adapt ways to actually make it inviting for someone to want to talk to you. And I learned that if I make it about them and listen and ask the kind of meaningful deep questions that will get to an answer that actually will give you a roadmap to that other individual.”

You write in the book that people make the mistake of being married to their ‘shoulds.’ What do you mean by that?

“Exactly what it  states: we are conditioned to always do the things that we are supposed to do that, we have been doing and what we’re conditioned to do. And what I have learned what makes life magical is taking the other roads, going a different route, opening that other door. And actually, not knowing what's on the other side -  not taking the ‘should.’”

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