Sam understood the ability to connect to people professionally as well as personally. He served as committee chairs for the local Chamber of Commerce. He hosted the ribbon cuttings for new businesses, but kept in touch with the owners afterward. He ate at the restaurants and shopped at the stores. He also went out to dinner with people, visited their homes, and got to know their children. He understood the value of true friendship both personally and professionally.
You probably understand about connecting professionally. Regular professional connections provide opportunities to:
- Improve your skills by learning alternative methods, tips, shortcuts, and other techniques
- Learn written and unwritten rules, plus insights into the culture, of the company
- Remain informed of policies, directions, projects, goals, and challenges in the company
- Share ideas, suggestions, and proposals for moving the company forward toward its goals or by removing the company’s challenges
- Discuss their career aspirations, goals, frustrations, and challenges
- Identify other people, programs, or organizations that can help you enhance your productivity, efficiency, effectiveness, and quality of your work
- Review trends in the industry, new software releases, best practices, and other helps
Connecting personally requires more tact and nuance. We will begin with the cautions
- Some people may perceive personal connections as a breach of etiquette.
- Getting too close personally can create a perceived hostile workplace.
- Take care not to enquire about, or share, too many personal issues about family, significant others
- Avoid interoffice romances or entanglements as they tend to create problems
With those precautions, you may connect on a personal level as well as a professional on the following topics. You may both discuss theirs and share yours:
- Trips, vacations, cruises, and other outings
- Birthdays, anniversaries, and other special days
- Hobbies, sporting ventures, and extracurricular activities
- Personal achievements, goals, and aspirations
- Personal challenges, problems, and frustrations
- What you can do to serve one another so that you can grow your careers together
Friday we share additional ideas for connecting with 10 people a month