“ Relationships! We have them all. We all want them. What do we do with them?
It's a line from "Fruitcakes", a song by my favorite musician, Jimmy Buffett (yes, I'm a Parrothead)! He's right … we have them all. Family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, the postman, your hairdresser … you get the picture. But what do we do with them? It is important to promote relationships, especially in today's social distance climate.
Here are three ways to improve our relationships in the new virtual, socially distant world.
- Use technology . Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, Google Hang Out – there are several virtual meeting platforms at our disposal. Professionally, I have used Skype and Zoom for virtual meetings, sales presentations and even happy hours! Personally, I have caught up with family and friends a lot through the same platforms. This is a great way to keep in touch face to face or screen-to-screen as it may be. Multiple users can log in anywhere in the world and you can talk as if you are all in the same room. A word of warning, it has been my experience that there is definitely a law of diminishing returns in games. Too many people in a conversation can quickly become confusing and disorganized!
- Fira . Everyone likes a party. So many birthdays, degrees, milestones and achievements are not recognized today. It's unfortunate because you never get those chances back. Again, technology can come in to play here. How about a virtual birthday party? We did a virtual party for a friend where we handed in a gift at her front door with instructions to log in to Zoom. We then rang the doorbell and went back to the car for the surprise. I have also witnessed parades of cars with banners beeping through a block to celebrate a pension. But you choose to do it, celebrate sparks in everyone and will definitely strengthen relationships and create incredible memories, especially now when we need it most!
- Creating Contacts . Sounds simple, but look around the next time you are out and notice how we take each other for granted. My wife pointed this out to me. I started a conversation with the cashier in our supermarket. I asked how the work went ?. Was she busy? Worried about the current climate? The family worried that she was out working? On the way back to the car, my wife mentioned that I was doing checkout. I asked how. She replied: “You showed consideration for her. She just did her job, but no one else in the line even looked up from her phone. "I did not even think about it, but this is something I do everywhere I go. Now that my wise wife has pointed this out, I will make sure it continues. You never know when you might make a day. This creates relationships with everyone you interact with.
Much of what I have shared here may seem obvious, but we often forget to get in touch with each other and celebrate the little things. Let us use what we have at our disposal – virtual meetings, socially distant celebrations and kind words – to build the relationships that are so critical in the new and very different world we live in.
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