I had coffee with a former colleague a few weeks ago. We worked together years ago and have stayed in touch occasionally.
I was startled when I saw him, because he had aged beyond his years and appeared gaunt and frail. I don’t know what’s wrong, but he’s not well. I was glad that we got together, and we have tentatively set another time to connect several months from now.
This encounter was a reminder about the importance of proactively staying in touch with people who matter to us.
Our lives are so hectic and chronically busy that this isn’t something that we should leave to chance.
Make the most of it when you see these people. The new year is a natural time to reconnect because you can tie in your wishes for 2024 and talk about what’s important to each of you in the months ahead.
If you choose to do something like this, here are a few quick ideas:
+ Ask what they are looking forward to accomplishing this year. This will trigger a deeper conversation than the more ordinary “what’s new with you?”
+ Explore how you can be a resource to them in the coming months.
+ Be prepared to succinctly answer the inevitable question of what you’re up to and what’s new in your world. Use this as an opportunity to articulately share some highlights of your current endeavors.
+ Keep some notes on your conversation so that you can refer to them the next time you’re in touch. Let them know if you do something that they suggested.
+ Set a reminder to make your next contact.
This last point is important because it will create the rhythm to stay in touch rather than leaving it to chance.
Staying in touch matters. Make a difference this year by making this happen.
Header image by Fizkes/Adobe Stock.