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When Crisis Presents Opportunity #2: ReConnecting With The People In Your Life

people-connectIn our last newsletter I posed the question, what if the current financial crisis were to present an opportunity?

We first looked at the opportunity that may lie in some creative re-visioning of ourselves and our professional contribution. (Read the previous article here.)

We turn our attention secondly to what opportunity might lie in doing some relational research. We do not need to find our way through this financial morass alone. While not every acquaintance, friend or family member can be the source of your next job, these connections can be more valuable than you think.

When we place too much pressure on relationships at time of need, networking can feel contrived and manipulative. Where have we been all this time?

But if in the course of life we stay in touch with people on a casual, personal, yet intentional basis, then initiating contact during times of need feels more natural and comfortable.

Try dividing your relationships into three groups:

1. Keep informed. Most casual and infrequent forms of contact. These are the people you want to keep informed of key events in your life and career. Reciprocally, you want to stay informed about what they are working on.

2. Enhance the connection. With this (much smaller) group you want forms and frequencies of contact that build relationship. You want to express interest in what they are trying to accomplish and what they might need.

3. Add value. With the final (and smallest) group, you intentionally do things to add value to their efforts. You forward resources, contribute ideas, and make helpful connections for them.

It is neither possible nor appropriate to put everyone you know into the “add value” category.

Begin simply and build slowly. Interact with people casually on the web, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or email. Make an occasional phone call and check in. Take people to coffee, a meal, or an event of mutual interest. Do what feels comfortable and natural to you. Use the calendar to help you make the practice consistent and regular.

Over time, you will discover a positive and comfortable familiarity develop.

In times of crisis, sudden job loss, or financial turmoil, no one will be surprised to hear from you. And you will be surprised at what a wide network you will have helping you create your next opportunity.

On your side,

- Karl Edwards

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