In this era of technological advancement, our society as a whole has become strangers to good-old fashioned relationships. Nowadays, it has become rarer for people to engage in face-to-face interaction. We know so many people only through voices over a phone or names on an email. We have become so accustomed to our daily routines that we fail to see outside of our own little bubble. Speeding through the day on autopilot, we miss these necessary interactions with individuals in our personal and professional lives. By the time we realize what’s happened, these relationships have become so far removed, it’s nearly impossible to salvage that bond. To avoid the possibility and keep any relationship thriving, it is pivotal to set aside time to build, foster, and grow the rapport.
Here are 4 steps that can help lead you in the right direction:
Step 1 – Write down your list. Take some time to evaluate your relationships and determine which ones are worth keeping and those that are not. Whether your list is long or short, write down each person that will require some of your time. Then, determining on your time commitments, choose a few from the list to work on.
Use the list as a constant reference for the relationships you need to maintain and constantly rotate as needed.
Step 2 – Make (genuine) contact. It’s easy to send a text, a Facebook message, a social media comment, or etcetera. However, making genuine contact begins with actual effort. Pick up the phone or pay them a visit to check up on how things are going. Make a quick stop on the way home from work or meet-up for lunch. Find a way to include them in your schedule – take that extra step. Be sincere and really get to the core of them as an individual. Find out about their ambitions and see how you can help achieve those goals.
Step 3 – Set a date. As if hectic routines and trying to schedule everyone in aren’t enough, it is important to just set some days devoted solely to the building of the relationship. Of course, it requires more effort but it is necessary to help the relationship grow. Plan a dinner, go to happy hours, go on trips, visit new places, attend events – whatever it may be, plan some time that both of you can build memories and reflect back on.
Step 4 – Repeat. Frequently. Having and maintaining relationships aren’t easy. But, if you keep at it and continue to make time for the people who are important in your life, they are going to remember that in the long haul. Whether it is personal or professional, these people can potentially be your saving grace or much needed lifeline later on. So, don’t just make the effort once, you must constantly make the effort for as long as you want to keep the relationship.
by Janine Yoro