Relationship building is a critical component in success. Forming and maintaining a strong circle of influence makes life not only easier but much more enjoyable. For over 25 years I have been a solo entrepreneur, kind of like the lone ranger- working for myself and often “too busy” to even take time off for a lunch date. Over the past few years I have worked on making the effort to extend myself into new arenas and growing my network. I am discovering that there is great power in making and maintaining on-going relationships.
That being said, I joined a breakfast club last September (TPG-The Professional Group). That in itself is not that special since I have been in many breakfast clubs over my lifetime. But, I planned to do something very different this go- round. I joined a couple of committees. I made a decision to take an active role in meeting new people and growing my circle of influence.
These two committees have allowed me to get to know some of the women more deeply and friendships have evolved.
Then I added a monthly event called Yappy Hour!
Yappy Hour was started by a Gen X member, Callie Shields. Each month Callie finds a really cool place to meet with the conditions that they have great Happy Hour prices and an area large enough to accommodate our group of 20+.
One of the great things that I have noticed about Callie is her unique way of introducing people. She kind of reminds me of the scene in Bridget Jones’s Diary, (My all-time favorite movie) where Bridget’s friend Shazza tells Bridget to “introduce people with thoughtful detail. When Callie introduces you to someone she always includes the details. Who they are, where they live, where they lived, what they do, and at times she even adds a personal story. Callie gives enough information to get you off and running in conversation.
Building relationships is an art. You have to ask good questions and then shut up and listen! It takes time, it take energy and it take the ability to reach out… and I am finding that it is well worth it.