STOUT STUFF BLOG: Making REAL Connections

By Kay Stout

Photo by August de Richelieu on

Yes, many of us are connected online using such internet apps as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Twitter and more. But the REAL connection is when you reach out to and engage someone in a conversation – either by phone, apps like Zoom, or, if you are lucky, in person. This last step is the real “on switch” you need to expand your business, to get an interview and find a new position, or even begin a new career.

Now, young people do not seem to realize the power of connections via voice or in person. I have teenage grandchildren who will laboriously text back and forth at a fast keystroke pace with friends. A quick phone call accomplishes so much more, and it is quicker and easier, too. True confession time: They do know to call me. Text messages are not on my preferred connection list. I blame it on fat fingers!

The following are examples of how personal connections can be effective.

Pre-internet days, I learned of an Oklahoma soccer team headed to Brazil for a tournament, but stranded in a Miami airport because the organizer had not pre-purchased tickets. Two days passed as the team members waited on standby and time and money were running out. Using a phone, I called the editor of a local paper. He put me in touch with the Associated Press Newswire, and I told the reporter there my story. I also watched CNN for an hour, and I noticed the news repeated their stories every 15 minutes. I dialed operator and got connected to CNN in Bristol, Connecticut. A very rude person informed me they did not take unsolicited calls. I told him that CNN was searching for news and I had a great story. The end results? The soccer team’s story was featured twice on national TV, the airline sent a plane to Miami, and the kids and chaperones made it.

I eventually left the corporate world and found a new passion in animal rescue. At a conference, one of the presenters emphasized the importance of managing rescues like you manage a business. It hit home, and I got his contact info. The rescue was full to bursting at the seams and the owner/surrender waiting list was more than 200 pets. Desperate, I called the contact, and he put me in touch with a rescue in Colorado. The executive director of that rescue informed me he did not accept pets from shelters. I challenged him to accept three transports. He reluctantly agreed and the rest was history, resulting in a weekly transfer of Oklahoma dogs for years that was a game changer.

My best story is when a former client wanted to leave education and go to work in international business. It was a huge leap. One of his college friends was from a foreign country. Thanks to shared collegiate email addresses, he reached out to his classmate who was from a royal family. A connection was made and, “yes,” he started his new career in international business.

Making a connection in the right way is equally important. Want to learn how? Contact me, I can help. Call (405) 255-8301 or write To learn more about Kay Stout Leadership Consulting visit

Kevan Goff-Parker Communications is closed

Dear friends, In late November 2022, I accepted a job as the new Communications Director for Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity. I want to thank all my clients and supporters throughout the years! My passion for helping people in the greater OKC area with limited incomes who want a safe, secure home they can be…

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