Making connections is the foundation for building coalitions, networks, and systems. It's also how you learn, find a mentor, discover a new hobby, find a new job, pick up a new sport, create something new, or simply make friends.
The process of tying people, places, or things together is how you gain experience working with people and how you create new sources of value. Doing so requires vision, tact, and respect for others. It's not for the faint of heart.
Creating synergy between groups or synthesizing multiple thoughts into a cohesive whole is tough work. It involves knowing yourself and empathizing with others. Being able to see a problem from multiple perspectives is critical to bringing distant ideas together.
That all sounds good, but how do you really start to build a bridge?
Start with finding a single commonality or single point of contact and slowly build from there. It takes patience and discipline to find this point--you must resist the urge to force your side of the issue. Build a bridge first. Once trust is established you can start talking about building a common vision.