People find and lose connections through death, life circumstance, and even by accident. Saint Augustine said, "pay special attention to those who, by the accidents of time, place, and circumstances, are brought into closer connection with you." Are the connections you make purposeful? It is easier for some people to make connections than others. Personally, I find small talk hard to do, but I do try to foster connections this way:
- Network at events. Sit at a table with people you don't know instead of those familiar faces you see often.
- Collaborate with others. This can be through projects at work or in your personal realm.
- Invite others along with you to networking events (i.e., continuing education seminars). This not only gains you a new connections, but you're helping others foster them too.
- Consider volunteering. You meet others and are doing good for others!
You can even make connections in the midst of your daily interruptions. Consider how you react when you experience interruptions. This is your chance to connect with others in a personal way and build upon professional relationships. It was John Quincy Adams that said, "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader."
Reflect on whom you have made connections with. How can you make them purposeful?