Saturday, August 2, 2008

Challenge Yourself: Meet & Get to Know People

Bean's Eye View
Originally uploaded by drewmaniac

With the current level of social networking on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and others it can be easy to believe you know gaggles of people. In some respects, I guess you do. But do you really know them? If you ran into them on the street, at work, or at an event would you recognize them? Would you speak to them if you did?

So you have 100's, even 1,000's of "friends" on MySpace. Do you really know them all? Should you? Could you attempt to? It's easy to hide behind the computer isn't it?

For some it's a challenge to meet someone new and even more difficult to get to know others. Yet if you truly want to connect with people, or network, you must get out and meet people. Talk to them. Listen to them. Ask questions and listen to their answers. Get to know them!

My grandpa (or Papa Don, as his grandchildren refer to him) used to tell me that as a rule of thumb, I should walk into the bank or financial institution I am a customer of. His logic behind his rule was so they would get to know you, and you them. I've practiced that for the most part without giving it much thought. There is much that could be said about establishing a personal one-on-one relationship with someone. Whether it's your co-worker, your banker, or even your customers.

You should get out of your car, away from the computer, or out of your office and get to know someone. It establishes relationships. It creates networks (far beyond Twitter or Facebook). It creates opportunities. At the heart of it, I think that's what my grandpa was getting at.

To steal a phrase from LinkedIn, relationships matter. There is nothing that can replace that personal, real live interaction that is experienced when you are speaking in person. We should never forget that.

It's time to challenge yourself. Get out there today, every day and meet someone. Get to know them and establish some true relationships. If you are not used to doing so, it will be difficult at first, but much more rewarding than adding yet another friend on your Facebook profile.

This is the 3rd post in a series titled Challenge Yourself. The previous posts are:

  1. Break a Bad Habit!
  2. Learn Something New

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