Does this seem familiar? You run into someone that you’ve known for a long time but have not spent time with them in ages. You briefly catch up and part with the promise that you’ll get together soon. And then that does not happen. In fact it may never happen.
You both meant what you said when you set up that ephemeral future date but as time passes the disconnect increases and ultimately neither of you reach out. You pass it off with something like ‘well we’re both so busy’ and you only have so much time – in fact not even enough for many of the people you actually do see and spend time with but don’t see often enough.
This year I’ve been trying hard to not let that happen and I’m very glad to be making that effort. Whether it’s personal or professional it’s far too easy to just let relationships slide. Showing interest in other people’s lives by reaching out and staying in touch seems to be more important in the digital age. People do keep in touch with social networks but it can be fool’s gold if you are thinking that the level of connection is the same as talking on the phone or better yet, getting together in person.
In my professional life I’ve always enjoyed going to see people I do business with – or would like to do business with. I’ve never been one to wait for an invitation and in fact would contact my client and then work out a visit with an ‘agenda’ that was really more of an opportunity for us to stay better connected. And I always walked out being really happy that I did. Making the effort made both parties feel better about the relationship. The same can be said for your personal relationships.
A T & T had a campaign thirty years ago with tag line ‘Reach out and touch someone’. I think it’s time to bring that idea back to the forefront. Make that call, (or if you must send that email or message somehow), set up that breakfast, lunch, or dinner with that friend or colleague you’ve not seen in far too long.
Will you give that a try?