Thursday, August 6, 2009

Social Media and Cultivating Relationships

Today, I am in a grateful mood. I am thankful for all of the dynamic and inspiring relationships with friends, family, co-workers and business associates over the years. It's really important to cultivate them over time. I will use a metaphor here which is a little obvious and blog related. Cultivating relationships is a life long journey. It's never complete nor fully realized. Especially now in these challenging times, sometimes all we have are these relationships and not much else. What's interesting is the word relationship means in one sense to relate to one another, or between entities or things, thus communicate. The ability to communicate and interact then is the glue which connects people, organizations into relationships, be they personal, business, philantrophic, or something in between.

From a marketing and business development view, relationships are essential. Where we would be without them? I find the need to cultivate and nurture relationships an essential part of daily life regardless of the area. Plus, with today's work culture our personal life is blending into our worklife and vice versa. It's unavoidable. I know I have a lot to learn about being in relationships, and often realize I have friends I haven't said hello to in years or the last six-months. Using social/professional media elements such as LinkedIN, Plaxo, Facebook or Twitter to stay in touch is very fruitful. One simple thing I really like is wishing people happy birtday when I remember to do it and say a quick hello usually via email. Our social media services are very good at telling us about birthdays. It's an easy step to take once a week and send well wishes to a handful of people you care about now. And, it has secondary benefits beyond the primary one of being in communication with one another, relating to each other. It shows you are present in someone's life so they know they can reach out to you, whether for personal, professional or other reasons.

So, cultivate those relationships today. They really matter!

(image is from a walk I took with my family near Southwest Harbor, ME in Acadia a few years ago)

No comments: