The Connection Club

An exciting world beyond your own.
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YOUR LEADER'S MANUAL FOR SUCCESS!

Below you will find a comprehensive manual with instructions on how to build your Connection Club.  There’s a bit of required reading, but we can assure you that every word points you toward the establishment of an organization that has a solid foundation, well oiled infrastructure and professional channels of communication. We want your Connection Club to be life changing, but that doesn’t come without a little heavy lifting.  So, roll up your sleeves and let’s start the work of creating a fantastic future!

 

Inviting members.

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WHAT SHOULD I DO FIRST?

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  • Hopefully by now you have created a Connection Club folder on your computer.  As one of your first files in this folder, create a list of the people you are considering inviting to be members of your Connection Club.  To help you create this list, we have offered some character traits to keep in mind before making your selections.  Inviting people you know well is fin, but we strongly encourage you to invite people outside your daily orbit as well.  Remember that a big benefit of having your own Connection Club is the opportunity to engage in conversations with people outside of your regular day.  With that in mind, consider inviting a neighbour down the street, the manager of a local restaurant, a friend from high school you haven’t spoken to in years, a parent with a child in the same class as yours, someone you work with, etc.  You are a good judge of character, so trust your gut.  The worst they can say is no thanks.

  • After you have made this list, we want you to sit on it for a couple of days.  Not literally of course, unless that’s your thing, but figuratively.  Go crazy adding anyone and everyone you think could be a potential fit and then after a couple of days, revisit your list to see which ones make more sense than others.

 

 

WHAT KINDS OF PEOPLE SHOULD YOU INVITE?

 

You are looking for people who possess most, if not all of the qualities listed below. People who...

 

  • Enjoy learning and growing as an individual.

  • See value in connecting with others in a meaningful way.

  • Are thoughtful and considerate.

  • Care about the future of planet earth.

  • Are open minded and respectful of other people’s opinions.

  • Will support others in their journey toward personal success and happiness.

 

 

 

HERE ARE SOME HELPFUL TIPS ON ATTRACTING PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF YOUR REGULAR NETWORK.

 

  • As was mentioned above, don’t be afraid to invite people you don’t know very well or even those you don’t know at all.  As the leader of your own Connection Club, if you end up choosing someone who turns out to be a poor fit, we have tools that will help you remove them.  Some of them are even legal!  Just remember that your first group won’t be your last group, so go with the flow and trust that it’s all falling into place naturally.

  • Don’t worry if you have to start off small.  Heck, your group could consist of just you and one other person in the beginning and it will still be a fulfilling experience!  It will grow from there!

  • One thing we strongly encourage you to consider is asking members to invite one other person from their own network who fit the bill.  Good people know good people.  If you do allow people to invite others, just make sure you encourage them to use the same criteria you used to choose them.

  • Some people like to co-lead The Connection Club with a friend or colleague.  You have to give up half of the autonomy, but collaborating with someone else can be fun too and will help you attract members.

  • You can also spread the word on social media.  Yes, this might put you into the awkward position where you have to say no to certain people, but without a little risk there will be no reward!  There are people out there who will raise their hand that aren’t currently on your radar that would love to join your Connection Club.

  • Always remember that the journey to a successful Connection Club will come with lessons to learn and stories to tell, so don't forget to enjoy the process.  

 

 

HOW DO YOU GET PEOPLE AS EXCITED AS YOU ARE ABOUT YOUR CONNECTION CLUB?

 

The first thing you need to know is that not everyone will be as pumped about this thing as you are.  We know what it’s like to invite people to things we thought were pretty awesome in the past, only to discover that not everyone is as cool as we are!  That’s ok!  You don’t want people joining your Connection Club unless they are as stoked as you are!  And don’t forget that someone’s lack of enthusiasm may have nothing to do with the club itself, but rather because the idea of talking to strangers scares the hell out of them.  If that happens, don’t take it personally.  

 

One thing you may also notice is that those who are not interested may feel bad admitting it. They like you and don’t want to hurt your feelings.  For that reason, instead of just being honest with you, they prefer to hide by faking their own death and not respond.  Again, don’t take it personally.  It’s not you.  It’s their own journey, and you just have to love them from a distance.

 

 

 

SHOULD YOU DO THIS VIRTUALLY, IN PERSON OR BOTH?

 

  • No matter what, remember this is your Connection Club, so do what feels right.  

  • Pro for going virtual: Going virtual allows you to cast a wider net by inviting people from across town or in other geographical time zones, which helps build the size of your club a bit faster. Keep in mind going virtual requires you to have access to a platform such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, Streamyard, Microsoft Teams, etc.  Some are free and some are not.  If you choose to build a large Connection Club using a virtual platform, make sure you choose one that allows you to put people into smaller groups.  Online discussions between eight or more people are better when broken up into smaller groups.

  • Con for going virtual: Going virtual makes it difficult to take advantage of the benefits that come with personal face to face interactions, such as eye contact, body language and being able to hug it out.  

  • Conclusion: One isn’t better than the other.  Just different.  We just want to get you thinking about this from all sides.

  • If you like the idea of having both a virtual and face to face gathering, remember that you can always have more than one Connection Club.  Look at you double dipping!

  • If you choose to do this in person be sure that you have access to a meeting place that is somewhat private so your members feel comfortable speaking their truth.  Cafes, restaurants and bars are fine, just as long as they aren’t distracting, too loud to hear each other or so quiet that strangers can listen in on your conversation.

  • A hybrid version is possible if you want to bring someone in virtually on a laptop or phone, but we wouldn’t recommend bringing in more than one person virtually to in person meet ups.  

  • Finally, if you choose to go virtual with your monthly gatherings, you can always create separate face to face events with your group at other times throughout the year to get the best of both worlds.

 

 

 

LET’S START MARKETING YOUR CONNECTION CLUB!

  • Below you will find a link you can send to people you want to invite to become members of your Connection Club.  This link is private and is a professional way of communicating the benefits of joining your club.  We recommend sending this link with a personal note.  To point you in the right direction, we have provided an example of what that note could look like below.

  • When you find yourself inviting someone face to face, simply advertise the same benefits listed in the link below.

  • You will find that it is easier to expand than to contract, so be thoughtful with your choices as it will pay off in the future.  Slow and steady wins the race!

  • Remember that on the first of every month the questions will be sent to all members of The Connection Clubs around the world.  Depending on today’s date, you have until then to get your group together.  And don’t worry if you don’t get there in time.  You can always start the following month.  You are in this for the long game!

Example of an email you might compose to invite members:

       

Hey John,

 

I’m reaching out to tell you about a new adventure I’m taking, and to see if there was any interest on your end in getting involved.  I have decided to lead my own Connection Club, which is a group of like minded individuals who meet once a month for a couple of hours virtually or in person to engage in meaningful conversations.  The purpose of the club is for all of us to get out of our bubbles, meet new people and expand our perspectives on life.  I realize that we do not know each other well, but you have always struck me as someone who is open minded, committed to growth and enjoys conversations that go beyond the surface.  It’s for that reason I thought to invite you to join my Connection Club.

 

I’m being pretty selective in who I am asking to join, so I can assure you that you would be surrounded by other great people like yourself.  Plus, I’m encouraging those I'm inviting to think of one other person in their own network who they think would also enjoy this experience.  If you choose to take advantage of that offer, I find it’s best to reach out to those who aren’t part of your inner circle of friends and family.  Doing so helps all of us expand our networks even further and attracts a wider range of ideas.  As long as they are thoughtful, respectful, enjoy learning and are interested in deeper conversations, feel free to invite them to join.

 

The Connection Club model was created by an organization called The More More, which is trying to help the world be more human, more often.  I was amazed to learn the number of benefits that come from creating these kinds of groups, which is why I decided to lead my own club.  Below is a link to all of those benefits, and I encourage you to give it a quick read as I believe it will help you make a more informed decision.  It’s totally free to join, and like I said above, it’s only a 2 hour commitment once a month.  However, if after reading the material from the link below you decide that it’s not your thing, no worries at all.  Who knows, it might not be something you want to join, but you may know someone who does.  If that’s the case, feel free to make an introduction.  

 

Either way, thanks for being someone who possesses the qualities of the types of people I’m inviting and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

 

Here’s the link: https://www.themoremore.com/connectionclub-invitation 

 

Sally

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Register members.

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As the leader of your club it will be your responsibility to register each person as they join.  You can do it each time someone joins, or wait and do it all at the same time once everyone has responded.  If ever one of your members can no longer be involved, they can simply unsubscribe from the list and our system will remove them from receiving notifications.  If you personally need to remove a member because they just can’t keep their clothes on during meet-ups, let us know and we will unsubscribe them for you! 

 

It’s extremely important that you register each and every person who chooses to become a member of your Connection Club.  With people participating all around the world, we want to ensure that everyone is getting the same experience, receiving the updates in real time and gaining access to information in a timely manner.  Plus, it takes a lot of the work off your plate.  Below is the link you can use to register members of your club.  It’s best to keep this link handy in your Connection Club folder (you created that right?) to register new members who join your club in the future.

 

How to be a pro facilitator.

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Great conversations are led by great facilitators.  It’s an invaluable skill to have and isn’t too hard to learn.  More than anything, it just takes practice.  Below you will find a long list of important things to remember and implement when becoming a great facilitator.  The strength of your Connection Club hinges upon your ability to generate meaningful, thoughtful and memorable exchanges between your members.  For that reason, we strongly encourage you to take the time to study this list of tips below and to skim over it before each one of your meetings with your club.  

 

 

 

ESTABLISH GROUND RULES 

 

  • It’s important that every one of your members understand the guidelines you want everyone to follow when they join your club.

  • Remind them of these guidelines before each meeting, so that everyone is on the same page.

  • This is your Connection Club and for that reason you can create the rules of engagement.  However, we encourage you to consider implementing things such as turning cell phones off, practicing good eye contact, not judging others, not interrupting, being respectful of people’s beliefs, avoiding jokes at other people’s expense, etc.

  • Confidentiality is key.  Remind people that what others share will be kept private.

 

 

 

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE QUESTIONS

 

  • The better your questions are, the more interesting the conversations will be.

  • Encourage people to expand on what they are saying if you see an opportunity for them to do that.  Example: “Can you go a little further with that?  Can you provide an example of what you are talking about?  Where have you seen what you are saying show up in your own life?”

  • Ask open ended questions.  An open ended question is one that doesn’t lead to a close ended answer.  Example: Saying, “Do you like pop music?”, is different from asking “What kinds of music do you like listening to the most?”

  • Ask people how they were affected by the things they are sharing.  Example: “How did that make you feel?”, “What did you learn from that experience?”, “Would you make that decision again if you could?”

  • Don’t forget to answer your own questions.  People will follow your lead based on the kinds of answers you are willing to give.  

  • Be prepared.  Based on the questions provided that month, write down some of your own secondary questions that would act as good follow up queries.

  • Remember that the internet can act as an amazing resource for how to ask good questions.  Take some time to dig a little deeper in that area.   

  • Some group leaders encourage people to raise their hands if they have something they would like to contribute.  When that happens, look them in the eye to acknowledge the fact that you have made a note to bring them into the discussion next.

 

 

 

IT’S NOT A COMPETITION

 

  • Lead by example by contributing to the conversation in a way that doesn’t make others think you are trying to impress anyone.

  • Remind people that it’s not about being the smartest, funniest or most interesting person in the room, but rather about sharing their ideas, opinions and experiences.

 

 

 

BE AUTHENTIC

 

  • Your members will feel more comfortable sharing intimate, and even private aspects of their lives, if they see you going first.  

  • Be vulnerable and create a space of trust by showing that you are not afraid to get personal about your own life from time to time.

  • Be willing to share aspects of yourself that you know need improving.  Again, this gives others the confidence to be real with the rest of the group.

  • Always speak your truth.

 

 

 

IS SOMEONE TALKING TOO MUCH?

 

  • If someone has something important to contribute to the conversation, that’s great, let them go for it.  However, be aware if someone’s contribution is impeding upon other people being able to share.

  • As the leader of your group, your members will often give you the stage to contribute the most.  It doesn’t mean you have to take it.  

  • Don’t mistake enthusiasm for what someone is saying as evidence that the members want to hear more from that person.  They may be just as enthusiastic about hearing from someone else.

 

 

 

WHAT ABOUT THE INTROVERTS?

 

  • The first thing to remember about introverts is that they are often ok with not talking as much as everyone else in the group.  Don’t think you need to give everyone an equal amount of time to share at every meeting.  

  • One of the best things you can do is simply check in with those who are more introverted than others by asking if they have anything they would like to contribute.  You can do that by asking them individually, or by asking the group as a whole whether anyone else has something they would like to say.

  • If you know the introverted person, look for ways to ask them to add value to the conversation by referencing something specific about their life.  Example: “Fatima, I know you have done a lot of travel around the world. Have you ever seen something in another country that relates to this?”

 

 

 

MAKE SURE YOUR MEMBERS FEEL SEEN

 

  • Acknowledge people for their contributions.

  • Thank members for having the courage to say something personal.

  • Compliment others for risks they have taken or things they have accomplished.  No matter how small it may be.

  • Tell them what you took away personally from what they just shared.

  • If a member was interrupted by someone who excitedly jumped in, bring the conversation back by saying something like, “John, I’m not sure if you had finished what you were saying about that, is there anything else you would like to add?”

  • By default members will often speak to you and forget to address others since you are the one leading the group.  Remind your club to speak to everyone when sharing as it can be yet another effective way of making people feel seen.

 

 

 

SILENCE IS GOLDEN

 

  • Don’t see silence as confirmation that the conversation has lost its momentum.  

  • Remember that people are often giving deeper thought to the subject at hand during those moments of silence.

  • Try to be patient for a few seconds in between each contribution by your members to allow space for others to jump in.

 

 

 

YOU AREN’T THEIR THERAPIST

 

  • It’s better to share your own experience rather than telling someone how to live their life.  Try saying, “From my experience”, instead of “You know what you need to do?”

  • Try seeing it as being empathetic rather than therapeutic.

  • If someone asks for your advice, by all means give it, but wait for that to happen before trying to jump in and fix someone's life.

  • Remember that often the most therapeutic thing you can do for someone is to simply listen.

 

 

 

WHEN SHOULD YOU SWITCH THINGS UP?

 

  • It’s important to read the body language of your group.  Scan the members to see if the interest in the topic is beginning to wane a little.  Look out for things like yawning, less eye contact, fidgeting, lack of engagement, etc.

  • You can close the loop on a topic by asking the group if anyone else has anything they want to contribute before moving on to the next topic.

  • Tangents can be great, but they can also lose their steam.  When that happens, bring the conversation back to the topic of focus by asking others to share their thoughts on that specific question.

  • Avoid switching things up just because the conversation becomes a little awkward.  Some of your group discussions will create disagreement and debate.  Try to sit in this space even if it makes you feel a little comfortable as this may be the moment where your members gain their biggest takeaways from the conversation.

 

 

 

ENCOURAGE HUMOUR

 

  • Whether you are naturally funny or not, try to inject a little humour so that others know it’s ok.  You could make fun of something silly you like to do, share a story from the past or offer a funny example about the point you are making.

  • You can even think of a few funny anecdotes in advance based on the topics for that event or start your meetings with a joke of the month.  Whatever it is, always remember that laughter is always welcomed by others.

 

 

 

WHAT IF THERE’S A LITTLE CONFLICT?

 

  • Try to be as tactful as possible.

  • If someone is aggressively questioning someone else, or ridiculing another person’s perspective, aim to attack the outcome and not the person.  For example, instead of telling John that he’s being a jerk, try pointing out to John that his current line of questioning, or the jokes he’s making, won’t lead the group to the kind of connection people are aiming for.

  • Tell your members that you don’t discourage disagreement, but rather encourage a respectful exchange of different ideas.  Ask them to avoid saying things like, “I completely disagree with what you are saying” and instead aim to say, “I see things from a different perspective than you.”

  • Remind people that it’s not about imposing their beliefs on others, but understanding how different people see the world.

  • If you notice that one of your members is consistently not following the guidelines of your group, set up a time to speak face to face.  During that meeting, try to understand why they are acting the way they are and see if there’s a way of working together to resolve it by again pointing to the outcomes you both want from the group.

 

 

 

CREATE A HEALTHY FEEDBACK LOOP

 

  • It’s important to check in with your members to see how they are feeling on a consistent basis.

  • At the end of the meeting ask if there was anything people wanted more or less of.

  • Remind your members that they can always contact you privately to offer feedback they think would help improve the experience.  Don’t forget to tell them their feedback will be kept confidential.

  • The best Connection Clubs are those that make people feel ownership over the success of the club.  By encouraging feedback you are giving them a sense of autonomy as opposed to the group feeling like a club owned only by you.

 

 

 

REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEONE

 

  • If your club meets face to face, look to incorporate physical touch.  Keep it clean!  

  • Depending on the comfort level of your members, things like shaking hands, hugging or simply touching someone on the arm or shoulder can go a long way.

  • It should happen at the beginning and end of each meet-up if possible.  Doing so creates a feeling of inclusion, welcoming and offers a nice ending to your event.

 

 

 

MAKE NEW MEMBERS FEEL LIKE ROCK STARS!

 

  • When a new member joins your club, commemorate it by making them feel seen and special.

  • Consider letting another member introduce them by sharing a few fun facts about who they are.

  • Give them a couple of minutes to answer a few questions about themselves.

  • Let them tell the rest of the group what they hope to get from the experience.

  • Remember that new members may need a few meet-ups before they feel comfortable sharing.

 

 

 

WHAT SHOULD YOUR TIMING LOOK LIKE?

 

  • Great facilitators start and end on time.

  • Allow your group to suggest the length of time they think meetings should be.  We recommend that your meet-ups last at least 90 minutes.

  • If the conversation is really flowing and everyone is enjoying the discussion, make an announcement at the scheduled end time by giving people the chance to leave if they need to.  During that announcement, you can also invite people to stay a little longer if they like.

 

 

 

SHARE THE LOAD

 

  • There may be times when an emergency comes up and you can’t make the meeting.  Approach other members in advance to ask if they would be willing to facilitate the conversation should that happen.  Share this page with them so that they can review the tips on being a great facilitator.

  • Consider inviting a member to co-facilitate from the very beginning.  You can switch it up from one meeting to another or agree to tag team during each meet-up.

  • It can be fun to run your Connection Club with someone else who is equally enthusiastic for the success of this group.

 

Important Reminders.

  • You might be surprised to discover that you are just a few degrees of separation away from great mentors who can help you grow your Connection Club into something special.  These could be successful entrepreneurs, thoughtful leaders or people you know who have kicked ass in the corporate world.  We strongly encourage you to take advantage of the resources you have through the people you know.  Reach out to them for a phone call or take them out for a coffee.  Tell them what you are trying to do and ask them if they have any advice on how to get there.  You will often be amazed at the level of enthusiasm others will show.

  • Be active in between your meetings.  Don’t just wait for the monthly meet-up, but rather reach out from time to add value to the lives of your members.  Send them an interesting article that you recently read, link them to a thought provoking video or simply pass along an inspirational quote.  The more value you bring to the table, the more likely it is that your members will stay involved and encourage others to join.

  • You are making a difference, but might not see it.  From our experience, people are not always great at telling you how much you and the club means to them.  They think and feel it, but don’t always say it.  And if they do, it sometimes takes them years to get there.  True leaders trust the impact they are having, without needing people to constantly tell them how awesome they are.  The good news is that it makes it even sweeter when it happens.  

  • Not every meet-up with your club will be an earth shattering experience filled with flowers and rainbows.  Some of them may be uncomfortable, awkward or even a little combative.  That’s totally fine.  We didn’t create The Connection Club for people to only enjoy the feel good stuff.  We also see great value in the “feel ugly stuff” too. Not to mention the feel weird, silly, sad, stupid, naive and wounded stuff as well.  True human connection is about bringing people together on all aspects of life. Fluffy moments are great, but getting past the fluff, but we want you to experience all aspects of human connection.

  • The Connection Club is just the beginning of what we hope will be many new adventures for you. Are you familiar with the multiplier effect?  It’s basically the notion that one thing leads to another, which leads to another and so on.  In order for it to work, you have to start somewhere.  Starting your own Connection Club is the first step that will lead you to many.  If you stick with this, there are exciting things that will happen for you in the future that you would never have guessed in your wildest dreams.  So stick with it, because the magic is just around the corner.

  • Finally, let us say this.  At The More More we believe in the expression, “The universe loves speed”, which means that when you are aligned with the universe, things will happen quickly, and sometimes even effortlessly.  However, if you have chosen to lead a Connection Club for reasons other than those that are aligned with your higher self, things will go off the rails quickly.  So, always take time to centre yourself on doing this for reasons that will elevate everyone involved to a higher level and the universe will take care of the rest.

Wow, you made it to the end of this manual.  Clearly you are serious about your success. Good for you!

Any questions?

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