In an ideal world, we’d spend a lot of time maintaining relationships with these valuable people – nurturing the relationships – but modern life means that finding the time to do this can be difficult.
Difficult, but not impossible.
Relationships through Social Media
With the advent of Social Media, it’s easier than ever to find people who are valuable to us. Those people who have knowledge, contacts, information or something else that is valuable to us – either now or in the future.
But the flip-side to Social Media is that it can make it too easy to forge these relationships.
- How many times have you been sent a LinkedIn connection request from somebody who you’ve never met, who suddenly wants to get to know you, presumably because you have something that is value to them?
- Have you ever connected with somebody on Social Media who you’ve met briefly at a business networking event, and the very next contact you have with that person is an e-mail (it’s never a ‘phone call – that takes too much effort) where they are asking for a favour from you?
- Worse – can you think of somebody who has asked you for a favour recently, and the only other times you can recall that person getting in touch was also to ask a favour? And maybe the time before that? Out of interest – does this same person respond to your e-mails or voicemails in a timely fashion, or just when they want something from you?
The value of nurturing a relationship
Bear this in mind, not when you next need something from somebody who is valuable to you – but before you need to ask their advice. Before you need to ask them for an introduction. Before you need to pick their brains.
Make nurturing relationships a part of your daily routine.
- If you read an article that reminds you of someone’s area of expertise or interest, forward it on to them.
- If you spot an event that you think somebody would be interested in, let them know about it.
- If this article makes you think of somebody important to you – be it business or personal – who you’ve not spoken to in a while, pick up the ‘phone and call them.
It’s Human Nature
It’s human nature to want to reciprocate when somebody does you a favour. But as humans, we’re also quite good at recognising – even at a subconscious level – when somebody genuinely values us, and when they simply value what we can do for them.
Put time and effort in nurturing the relationships that are valuable to you, and become the person who people are genuinely delighted to help when you ask for assistance.