When I was in New York last October, I met Michael Roderick, who was introduced to me as a super connector. I took this to mean a person that knows everybody and is really good at networking. I was intimidated because that is a skill I don’t have and generally the term networking makes my palms sweaty. After we met, I sent him an email and he immediately responded and asked to set up a call. We talked and true to his introduction he connected me with someone who had a similar business to mine and who has since become a friend and trusted resource to me.
I expected that to be that. We’d talk once and I’d probably never hear from him again. Not so. Periodically, he checks in with me and asks about my business. We share what we are working on and we try to help each other if we can. After about four months of this back and forth, I realized why he was introduced to me as a super connector. He is awesome at creating relationships and nurturing them. He is not shy to reach out and not just once but over and over again with consistency and sincerity.
Without me realizing it, he has been teaching me lessons I can apply to all my relationships:
- Don’t wait for people to come to you. It’s on you to make that effort, to reach out, to say hello, to genuinely care and not because you have an agenda but because the relationship matters.
- Be consistent. Relationships need to be fed. If you’ve been neglecting someone or feel guilty because you didn’t follow up sooner or follow through on something don’t let that stop you. Relationships are remarkably resilient all you have to do is take that first step, and then another, and then keep going.
- Give. Let go of your agenda. This is true in both personal and business relationships. Have you ever had a friend that calls you only to talk about themselves? Or a business associate that constantly wants to pick your brain? They are reaching out. They are probably consistent. But they are totally focused on themselves. Don’t do that. Think about what you can give not what you can get from the other person.
I’m writing this from the “work in progress” place not the “I’ve got it mastered” place. However, I wanted to share my experience anyway because I’ve spent way too much of my life feeling isolated and I’m realizing that was a choice. So if you feel at all alone, or disconnected in your personal or business journey make an effort to reach out to people. Know that not everyone is going to meet you halfway and that’s not the point anyway. You aren’t looking to get something out of it. You are simply letting another person know that you are thinking of them and that they matter to you.