Recession-Proof Relationships

February 10, 2009

Credit Crunch.  Bankruptcies.  Layoffs.  Bailouts.   CNN constantly feeds a daily dose of  negative economic news.  With a volatile stock market still down 40% and interest rates at all time lows; seemingly there is no safe harbor for financial assets.  Job losses surge everyday and even the employed live in fear of tomorrow. What a lovely picture.

In such challenging times there is no more valuable asset than your relationships.  These connections can serve as beacons of light among the darkness and gloom.  Each relationship can open a new path to that next job, that new solution, that new idea or that new positive perspective.  Your relationships and how you elect to leverage them, differentiate you from anyone else.

Relationships are priceless resources.  They are FREE, only requiring an investment of your time and energy.  They are UNPREDICTABLE, as you never know where one new connection will lead.   Most importantly, they must be NURTURED to be effective.

3 Quick Recommendations:

Strengthen Weak Ties – Allocate time in your schedule to reach out to those whom you have lost touch and re-kindle past relationships.  Typically these people travel in much different circles, know different people and have a unique set of contacts.  Ideal when searching for a new path and reaching beyond your traditional network core. Utilize online tools such as Reunion.com, Facebook, Classmates.com or College Alumni networking groups.

PING – Every day call three people whom you have not spoken with in at least 6 months.  Simply to say hello and initiate a dialogue.  Use standard down times, drive time traffic, waiting on an appointment, lunch break.  The results will astound at how fast you can re-connect and strengthen a relationship.

Beyond the Comfort Zone – Do something new and different.  Get outside your comfort zone.  Try online networking.  Attend an event you have never been to previously.  Get involved with a new group.  Venture outside your typical geographic area and interact with people in a new part of town.  Volunteer your time for a new initiative.  Push until you feel some butterflies.  Reach out and connect to new people in a new environment.

Commit yourself to these 3 efforts for the month of February and you will be amazed at the results.  You want things to happen, then make them happen.  Shake your networking up a bit and create positive momentum for yourself.  Do more, connect in new ways and listen less to CNN.


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