In the past two days, I've had dozens of opportunities to strengthen existing relationships. Dozens - in just two days. We probably all have that many opportunities. Or maybe even more...that we let pass us by.
Instead of just rushing through a harried couple of days, it's what I chose to do with the interactions that made them so much more than fleeting.
Five chances (out of several dozen) to turn everyday interaction into real human connection.
I received a text with a question that could have easily just been a string of texts back and forth...instead, a phone call was best. I haven't been particularly close with this contact - interacting only occasionally over the years. A new respect, with humor I wasn't expecting, infused our 25 minute call.
On a large conference call - I received a question via private chat, and instead of just answering and moving on, I offered time on my calendar to talk. The conversation, to put it mildly, was delightful.
A call on my calendar I had needed to cancel and reschedule more than once. It would have been easy to cancel again, my day was booked solid, but I kept the meeting. And it fueled the rest of my day.
One meeting in particular could have been three or four people invited, but I kept it to just me and the other party - and we ended up connecting in a way that hasn't been possible before.
A very close work colleague, whom I used to see at least quarterly at business meetings, has been out of reach and impossible to see in person because of our current global pandemic. I sent her a text towards the end of the day, when I was feeling a bit worn out, a bit over-scheduled, and I bit maxed out, and asked her if she had a virtual happy hour I could join with her today. She didn't have anything, so just sent me a calendar invite for our own conversation instead. Wine in hand, we had a wonderful 40 minutes catching up.
As I reflect on these five experiences, it's quite amazing they happened at all. As each one could have easily ended up just being a text, an instant message, and email or a big meeting.
Instead, I was intentional with each interaction and tried hard to prioritize the need to connect and build relationship, and not just be as efficient with my time as possible.
It's a conundrum for sure...as our days seem to be busier than ever - even while working from home and our schedules lacking the hustle and bustle of business trips and commuting.
Could you do something similar? What could you do to ignite more human connection over the next few days and weeks?
You've got this.