Thursday, 3 February 2011

Want a More Resilient and Happier Life? Build Relationships!!

Time after time, studies into health, longevity and overall happiness come to the same conclusion - people with the most developed support networks in terms of friends and/or family rank at the very top and get the best results.  

And it's the very same thing in business and career - if you want to prosper, build personal relationships with other human beings and do what you can to contribute to their success.

Yes, these days we call it "networking", yet it's a practice as old as the human race.  The irony you and I face is that although we have more technological tools to stay connected with other people, we're often too overwhelmed to use them.  

My dear departed mom wrote to at least one of her sisters and to her best friend (by snail mail) every week for over half a century, yet most of us seem to have a really hard time staying in touch with the people closest to us even though it's easier and cheaper than ever.

Social media is helping to bridge the gap, for sure, but as any expert on the subject will tell you, nothing can replace the traditional face-to-face contact.  

Networking 101

In this short video, networking master Michael Hughes gives you some killer tips on how the pros do it.  Keep in mind that this isn't just for sales people or people in business; the overall dynamics and benefits of networking apply to everyone:

A Man Who Walks the Talk

As it happens, Michael is a friend of mine and I can tell you I've learned more about networking from watching him in person than from reading any number of books on the subject.

Just the other day I was at a workshop given by someone else and Michael was there.  It was the first time I'd seen him in several months.  I sat with him in a small group discussion for just ten minutes and in that time he had learned exactly where my business was at, volunteered to spend time with me to work on some of my challenges and had introduced me to someone else who could do the same.

And there you have a perfect illustration of one of the chief functions of networking - helping connect others with the resources they need.  

Let me share one final point with you: even though networking is a key element for building your personal resilience (and your business, if that applies to you), most people, even business people, don't do it well at all.  You  can be different.  

So if you want a challenge, here's one for you: make a list of people you know and devote just 30-60 minutes a week for four weeks to contact them for no other reason than to say hello and let them know you care.  

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger


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