Susan McPherson: The Lost Art of Connecting

If we’ve learned anything over the last few years of dealing with a global pandemic, it’s our insatiable human need for connection. I’m not talking about likes on a post, or how many business cards you get to hand out at an event. I’m talking about genuine connection – connections that fuel you, inspire you, make you laugh, and spark ideas. Today, my guest Susan McPherson shares her lifelong commitment to connection in her new book The Lost Art of Connecting: The Gather, Ask, Do Method for Building Meaningful Relationships. We talk about how her parent’s pre-social media methods of connecting influenced her connecting philosophy, how her Gather, Ask, Do method works for building generous and meaningful connection, how we can best revitalize our relationships in a post-pandemic world, and the role technology can play now and going forward.


Key Takeaways:

  • Having an ongoing curiosity about people is the heart of empathy and the key to connecting. 
  • It isn’t about helping 50,000 people. It is about 2-3 actions per week and building them in as a habit. You will receive goodness back and people will remember your connections with them when you’re being helpful. 
  • Set realistic goals and expectations for yourself and your connecting. 
  • We are all experiencing this global pandemic together, and now is the time to reach out when we are all in this strange situation together. 


“We have all these technology tools, so ask the recipient, whether it’s a colleague, or a friend, or a donor, or a funder, how they want to be in contact with you. To me, it’s a very personal question. We all have our likes and dislikes.” —  Susan McPherson


About Susan McPherson:

Susan McPherson + Founder and CEO

Susan McPherson is a serial connector, angel investor, and corporate responsibility expert. She is the founder and CEO of McPherson Strategies, a communications consultancy 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 (McGraw-Hill). Susan has 25+ years of experience in marketing, public relations, and sustainability communications, speaking regularly at industry events including Inspirefest/Dublin, BSR, Center for Corporate Citizenship’s Annual Summit, DLD and Techonomy, 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 the recipient of Forbes magazine’s 50 over 50—Impact 2021 award. She has also won numerous accolades for her voice on social media platforms from Fortune Magazine, Fast Company and Elle Magazine. Currently, Susan invests in and advises women-led start-ups, including: iFundWomen,Inc.,, Our Place, The Riveter, Park Place Payments, Hint Water, Apolitical, Arlo Skye, Giapenta and The Muse. She serves on the boards of USA for UNHCR, The 19th News, and the Lower Eastside Girls Club, and serves on the advisory boards of The List and Alltruists. Additionally, she is a member of the MIT Solve Women and Technology Leadership Group and serves as an adviser to several nonprofits, including Girls Who Code, She’s The First, and The OpEd Project. Susan is a Vital Voices global corporate ambassador. She resides in Brooklyn.


Connect with Susan McPherson:

Book: The Lost Art of Connecting






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