Over the last few years of work I have picked up many great skills and a ton of experience that I will take with me forever. I believe the there is no substitute for experience, it is a great teacher and helps up become the best version of ourselves as we move through our careers. While I value these attributes of my history, what I want to hold onto the most is my relationships. Building connection with people at my office and other companies I have worked with has been a meaningful journey and I hope to continue that trend moving forward.
Strength In Connections
Humans in general are social people and when we work in an industry that thrives on collaboration, connection is a standard by product. Each of us has built these relationships and it is important that we maintain them. Just as a great team is able to conquer a monumental task, your network has a similar capability. If you maintain these relationships and build up your list of connections, you have access to an extremely vast amount of knowledge that any one person cannot provide. Authors Mark Babbitt and Ted Conie of “A World Gone Social” talk about the power of a social network, coming the phrase OPEN – Ordinary People, Extraordinary Network. The concept revolves around harnessing the power of many, as in social media, however it applies to you personal connections as well. Building a network a quality relationships enables you to have access to extraordinary information.
Taking the Strength With You
One of the things that has stuck with me over the last couple years is from Adam Grant in his book “Give and Take”. Grant says that we underestimate the power of weak ties. These are the people that we have had relationships with formally, but may have gone dormant. Reaching out to these people can provide a tremendous amount of benefits that otherwise may have been unavailable. This resonated with be because it discussed how what I do today can affect me in the future. Something great about relationships is they are not dependent on only where you work. If I ever left my position, I would still have those connections to help me in my future endeavors. And just as Grant discusses in the book, I would hope they would call on me to help them as well, I want to actively be a “giver” and help build everyone around me.
We’re always meeting new people and I hope you choose to embrace that, as I have. I believe the individuals I connect with are looking to build their social networks the same as I am, and I am here to help. I want to be the person that a weak tie calls when they need help because I know someday I will need to make the same call. It’s not about a tit for tat system, it’s about building meaningful relationships with people that can endure. Each of us is unique in our attributes, behaviors and experiences, we should all be unique in our networks too. Tomorrow at work, take the extra couple minutes on that phone call and ask a few more questions not related to work, get to know someone a bit more then you have before.