When you’re lying flat on your back, all you can do is look up. That is the position I find myself in right now as I’m recovering from a foot surgery to correct a major deformity that has kept me from wearing almost 90% of the fashionable shoes in my closet. I have postponed this surgery for over five years because clearing my schedule for three weeks to be home flat on my back with my foot elevated kept me from following through. However, when you stand in front of people for a living, your feet become a priority and I finally had to treat them as one.
The only way I could go through with the surgery was to ignore the post-surgical realities of my weeks at home unable to walk without the help of crutches or drive a car. Turns out, denial is not just a river in Egypt. Denial is one of my favorite defense mechanism that I chose to use frequently. Despite my best efforts to pretend I could get through this alone, people began arriving with food and dropping off rehab aids and gifts. Cards came in the mail and people starting dropping by to check on me. All of this has served to remind me of how important a personal network is. You really can’t make it in this world without one. Yet when we’re so busy with our careers and families it becomes easy to let those personal relationships fall by the wayside. We have every intention to call that person, write a letter, or drop by their house yet our days fly by filled with other duties and obligations.
The worst time to try and build a personal network is when you really need one. Eventually you will need one, we all do. It’s been an interesting 12 months with the economic conditions not to mention the national tragedies that have hit our neighboring countries and through all of these difficult times, what you hear repeated over and over is how personal relationship are all that really matter. As I lay here looking up reflecting on all the people in my network who have been there for me, I feel compelled to share some ideas and action steps you can take to start building up your personal network now…before you have to visit the river called Denial.
Perfecting Connecting Action Steps:
- Embrace Social Network Sites to help you reconnect with old friends and colleagues. Popular sites like Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter can help you find people quickly and give you a chance to reconnect. I have been amazed at how easy these sites make it to find important people in your life that you simply lost touch with.
- Schedule a Virtual Cup of Coffee with a network contact simply to get to know each other better or catch up on your lives. No agenda. Agree on a time of day and call, text, email or instant message for the sole purpose of getting to know each other better.
- Host gatherings with people you know that you think would enjoy meeting each other. This can be over a meal, drinks or coffee and sit back and watch the magic happen. You are the center of your network so act like the hub and connect the different spokes.
- Practice Random Acts of Kindness. What you put out to the world does eventually come back to you.
The view from here is pretty good and I have so much to be thankful for. How’s your view?