EP 13: How to Build Meaningful Relationships in Business and Life w/ Susan McPherson

by | Mar 31, 2021 | Podcast

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Guest: Susan McPherson is a serial connector, seasoned communicator, and founder and CEO of McPherson Strategies, a communications consultancy firm focused on the intersection of brands and social impact. She is the author of The Lost Art of Connecting: The Gather, Ask, Do Method for Building Meaningful Relationships. Susan has almost three decades of experience in marketing, public relations, and sustainability communications, speaking regularly at industry conferences and contributing to the Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and Forbes. She has appeared on NPR, CNN, USA Today, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times. Susan is a Vital Voices global corporate ambassador and has received numerous accolades for her voice on social media platforms from Fortune Magazine, Fast Company, and Elle Magazine. She resides in Brooklyn.

Episode in a Tweet: Forge meaningful relationships in business and life by going back to the basics: add value, reach out, give back, and be kind.

Quick Background: Even before the pandemic gripped the world, we had become a society engulfed in loneliness. People have hundreds of “friends and connections” on social media platforms, yet meaningful connection remains elusive. At a time when we are more physically distant than ever before—how can we reverse the growing trends of disconnection to forge meaningful relationships in business and in life? In this episode, I interview Susan McPherson about her “Ask, Gather, Do” method of connecting with others and her newly released book: “The Lost Art of Connecting: The Gather, Ask, Do Method for Building Meaningful Business Relationships.” 

Susan shares her philosophy on why building meaningful connections can be as simple as going back to basics such as being kind, reaching out to others, and smiling. My favorite part of the interview is when she explains how relationships are like constellations and have a ripple effect on people you don’t even know. We also talk about why being helpful is such a powerful way to connect with others and why it’s essential to understand yourself and your “Chief Differentiating Factor when building connections and why you should reach out to your connections during the pandemic. 

Susan is a beautiful person, and I am so glad I had the opportunity to meet her. Her book is timely and simply fabulous.  

Visit Susan’s website here.

Get her book on Amazon here.

Connect with Susan on LinkedIn here.

Question of the Episode: “I am questioning where I am professionally and personally and struggling to figure out where exactly I where I want to be and what I want to be. I know that I can be a strong leader, but I don’t feel like I can do it in my current organization. I am not sure if it’s appropriate for me to be reaching out to you on LinkedIn, but I could use some advice on taking the next step in my career.”

My Answer: First, absolutely yes! Reach out and ask these types of questions to people on LinkedIn. The purpose of LinkedIn is to build professional connections and to engage with people who inspire you. You never know what door will open and what advice you will get when you reach out, so don’t be afraid to do it.

Second, career wellbeing is so important, and if you feel that you are in a dead-end job, I encourage you to look for one that is a good fit.

Like this podcast: check out my interview with Heather Monahan, author of Confidence Creator and the person who introduced me to Susan.

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