Be of service and don’t stay silent.
While things have dramatically changed around the globe this last month, some things remain the same. The attention you give to those who matter most in your personal, professional and community networks is imperative for your social and emotional health as well as your business.
I’ve always loved the quote from Bob Burg, author of The Go-Giver, “All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.” So, let me ask you, how are you showing up for your network during these times of change?
In talking with a few professionals in my network and watching my social feeds I’ve seen two different ideas emerge. One side says, “stop selling, be human and unless you have something novel to offer that will help me get through the day, leave me alone.” The other side says, “Continue with business as usual but be human. If we don’t continue to sell this will be even harder on everyone.” While I understand the difference of opinion, I’d like to offer an alternative. Be of service!
In times of crisis, change or upheaval, yes please be thoughtful about what you’re putting out into the world. Try to be a positive force for good and help provide resources, ideas and inspiration to help each other as we’re all in this together. But please, don’t be silent. Silence does not help you connect with others. Silence does not help you support your network. And, silence surely doesn’t help support your business.
Those that weather the storm and support their network will come out of this stronger than those that don’t. Because unfortunately, being silent is the same as not showing up! You need to show up and support your network in times like these, not run for the hills. And if you feel that it’s better to be silent than add to the noise or bother others, please re-examine your approach. While you may think you’re being respectful, others may portray it as abandoning your tribe when times get tough, and that does not help fill build your relationships or help people know, like and trust you.
So, what’s a professional to do?
Here are a few recommendations for keeping your relationships strong during times like these. They’re the same tips I recommend to professionals throughout the year, they’re just even more important now than ever before.
- Reach out to your network, especially the extroverts, as they are likely taking “social distancing” especially hard given they thrive on peer to peer interaction
- Move conversations to video calls so you can see your counterparts, your friends and your family. In person meetings are always the best when building relationships, so go with video as an alternative during these times
- Send thank you cards to those who have positively impacted your life. Getting a thank you card from an unexpected friend or colleague is surely going to be a highlight of someone’s day
- Offer your insights, support and expertise to others
- Focus on serving those around you. Think of what you can do, share, or communicate today that can be of service to others
- Be thoughtful and thankful
While we’re all in this together, we are all experiencing this crisis in different ways. Some may have minimal impacts to their daily routines, some may have lost their jobs or businesses and others may have lost loved ones. Have empathy and understanding for everyone’s experience and be thankful for blessings you find in your life.
I hope this article helps you nurture your relationships while “social distancing”. If there’s anything I can do to be of service to you or someone you know, please reach out. We’re all in this together and it will take us all supporting one another to come out stronger on the other side.