In the past, the business card file was where people often kept contacts’ names. Oh, now we have become much more sophisticated and we keep these files on our smartphones. But how valuable are these lists of contacts. I would tell you there is a more critical list that you need to start developing and it is helping me connect more with respect to connecting in the digital age.
This directory includes contact names and their associated information, but it also contains another important aspect. This aspect is Experiences. This past year, I have started, ( …repeat started) a list of names and some type of experience or information that this person shared with me.
This information could be in several different forms:
- insight into a particular topic
- experience regarding an issue
- personal belief
- personal experience related to a topic
- some personal information regarding a person or company
- a personal suggestion for me or my company
- a personal note or email
- a personal request regarding a work opportunity
The point here, is that I have taken time to make the connection between a person and some personal action. This way I can always remember why I stay connected to this person or if I need to be cautious around this person.
Today, we are at a point where people are more willing to share information to strangers both online and offline. Some of this information may be too personal, but for the most part I find that people who share their experiences are genuinely trying to connect themselves to some sort of purpose in life. Often times, we brush off these experiences as just normal conversation and don’t remember this information in future interactions with these people.
As I am finding out, the people I want to connect with more take additional effort. All of us need to work at developing our personal relationship skills and listen closely to the words we are communicating to each other. By connecting people with their experiences and taking time to note this information, we begin to learn more about ourselves and the world around us. We take connecting to a whole new level and we develop a respect that each and every person is gifted in some way.
Today, I continue to work at this process and continue to learn from others on various topics and experiences. It has helped me to become a better listener and in return it helps me realize where my role is in the relationship and where I can add the most value. When both parties share information that is given and received appropriately, this is where the birth of new ideas and continued learning can develop.
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