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Building Soulful Connections in Business

The theme this fortnight with people I’ve been speaking with is how to create soulful connections in business. I work with a specific type of person, so many of my clients have similar traits and values. They want to build deeper connections with colleagues, clients and potential clients.

Executives, business owners and entrepreneurs tell me large, loud networking events are overstimulating and no longer appealing. Events that are designed to allow each person one minute for their ‘elevator pitch and business card exchange’ do not inspire them. They are craving connection; not pitches, which I think is a reflection of a modern world filled with social media, digital snapshots and the ‘busyness’ of today.

The question I was asked this week by an entrepreneur was: “How do I create an authentic connection with someone whom I may be able to help?”

Instead of going into the theory on how to build relationships and what the experts advise us to do, I'm going to tell you a story.

Yesterday I flew back from Cairns to Melbourne. Upon checking out of the Pulllman Reef Hotel (highly recommend) in Cairns yesterday morning, I grabbed my phone and called a car via a popular ride-share app. The driver pulled up, got out of the car with a huge smile on his face and said "Hello, Janelle ". I didn’t have much luggage and could have easily placed it in the boot myself, but he insisted on taking it from me and storing it carefully. Once in the car he started to chat. My destination was the airport, and I had luggage, so it was a pretty good guess I was going somewhere. He asked me if I was going on a trip or going home. He asked me if I’d been in Cairns for business or pleasure. The easy way he conversed encouraged me to enter the conversation and share some things about myself, to which he responded in kind. The conversation was respectful and interesting, two-sided and flowed easily. Upon arrival at the airport he leapt from the car, removed my luggage from the boot, told me to have a great flight and departed with a big smile. I felt happy and ‘helped’. If I could request him next time I return to Cairns, I would.

Fast forward 8 hours.

My plane arrived in Melbourne at approximately 11.00pm. Handsome Hubby and I had been travelling since 4.30pm, we were both very tired and looking forward to getting home. Instead of walking the few minutes to the pick up point allocated to the same ride-share company (I'd used in Cairns) in the cold Melbourne winter air, we opted to jump into the very short and fast moving taxi queue. When we reached our taxi the driver popped the boot, but did not get out of his seat. We loaded our luggage and got into the car. He didn’t say hello – just asked where we were going. He then asked me, as he pulled out of the taxi park to plug our address into the smartphone he was holding. I did so. Before we’d left the airport he told us he didn’t have any fuel and would have to stop for some. The first service station he stopped in didn’t have any LPG so we moved on and had to stop a second time. We had to direct him to our home for most of the journey, so we couldn’t rest. He constantly changed the radio station half way through each song. Upon arrival at our home he popped the boot but did not leave the car, leaving us to retrieve our own luggage.

I think this story is an excellent example of building a relationship versus not building a relationship.

Firstly, both drivers performed their duty. Both drivers got us to our destination safely.

One driver focused on his passenger’s (client’s) needs whilst the other driver focused on his own.

One driver was friendly and curious about his passenger (client). He was interested.

One driver took the time to leave the dirver's seat and help with the luggage.

One driver was prepared for his passenger (client). He used my name, his car of full of fuel and it was clean. His GPS was working.

Only one driver would receive my repeat business.

What is your reflection?

Janelle Ryan is a Personal Coach, published author, presenter and facilitator who helps high performers create extraordinary lives. Her clients include leaders, Olympians, business owners, entrepreneurs and mums! She was announced as one of Australia's Top 10 Women Entrepreneurs by My Entrepreneur Magazine in 2017. She coaches clients by invitation and referral only.


Her next workshop is titled BRING YOUR VISION TO LIFE. Limited places are still available in MELBOURNE (July).

Contact Janelle at for further information regarding any of the above or to to find out how she can assist you or your team.

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