These days, it seems more and more people are emailing and texting in an attempt to save time and get things done. This is easy (maybe even a little too easy / too good to be true). Email and texts appear to be a convenient way of conducting business but it is not a particularly effective way to accomplish an objective or build a relationship.
Email has its place. Email was originally created as a file sharing / file transfer platform and we’ve morphed it (nay – bastardized it!) into our main form of “communication”. I like to say if there are more than three emails traded back and forth – it’s time to pick up the phone and talk otherwise you’ll find yourself spinning your wheels.
How about using email as a way to introduce yourself to start the conversation. You can get a much better read on tone in person or on the phone. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen email trails that just go back and forth or worse, in circles. Nothing gets decided. Nobody takes responsibility. It feels like once someone hits “send”, the monkey is off their back. But when you really think about it – what a waste of time!
But if you look somebody in the eye or actually use your phone to have a real conversation, stuff gets done.
If you really want to make something happen, make a real connection. Pick up the phone and talk. Set up a time for a breakfast, lunch, or a coffee to get to know somebody better or resolve an issue. Agree to meet regularly just to keep in touch on what is going on in each other’s lives. Put it in your calendar and do it!
Get back to basics and have a conversation. Be open and be curious. Share ideas. Discover options that you did not know existed. All by talking to each other.
It may sound ridiculously simple, but it is worth trying. Here are a few tips to get started:
- Make a short list of people you want to get to know better personally or professionally.
- Figure out how to connect with them. Ask a mutual friend to connect you or use LinkedIn or Facebook or whatever to connect and set up a quick introductory call.
- Be friendly, open, and conversational on the phone. Do not have an agenda, but ask open-ended questions to establish a basis for further discussion.
- Set up a time to meet. No big production or anything. Keep it simple.
- Stay connected by following up to meet / talk again.
So let’s all put down our phones and focus on building meaningful relationships. Every day.
I guarantee you will be amazed. Doors will open. Opportunities will present themselves you had not dreamed about. And you will have fun building your network.