Beyond Networking: When Relationships Save the Day!
I’m part of an amazing network here in Kelowna B.C. Canada. It’s made up of outstanding people from across all sectors, backgrounds, and areas of expertise. But this outstanding network is much more than a group of people. It’s also a lifeline when things go sideways. (I know you likely have experienced what that feels like).
Recently, I got a call from someone I deeply admire, and who carries an immense amount of responsibility for a high-profile Kelowna organization. One of their most important events of the decade was at risk of being negatively impacted. The individual tasked with organizing the events supporting arrangements had run into an unexplained situation, and many of these were not yet in place, and deadlines were looming.
This was truly an 11th hour crisis! However, the beauty of a powerful, and compassionate network, is the ability of many people to supportively pitch in, and bring their resources and expertise to the issue, and turn a potential crisis into a triumph.
That’s what happened here. I made some calls, and others in my network made some calls, and many great people stepped forward to ensure that every aspect was in place. From the outside, upon the date, this event looked polished, prepared, and successful—and it was! All thanks to the network we’re all a part of.
The Oxford dictionary has these possible definitions of network:
Noun: a group or system of interconnected people or things
Verb: interact with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts
I’m sure you’ve heard of VUCA to describe the uncontrollable world we currently live in:
Uncertain-difficult to predict the future
Complex-the number of factors that impact us
Ambiguous-difficult to find clarity
What helps us get through all of this current craziness is our relationships. It was (dare I say it) quite easy for me to call up the amazing people in my personal network. I simply explained the situation we were in, and each of them answered with, ‘Tell us what you need Peter’. I told them, and they did the rest.
How to Build Vibrant Relationships
I believe this is missing a crucial element that ensured we could effectively help our friend and colleague: relationships. We’re not only connected by our professions. We’re connected by our relationships with each other. That’s the key.
Relationships are Essential in Our VUCA World
If your network is lacking vibrant relationships, today is the perfect day to start to change that. Look at the people in your network and ask yourself what you know about them. Use that knowledge (even if it’s minimal) to forge a viable relationship.
- Send a personal congratulations when you hear of an accomplishment
- Sincerely ask how you can help when they’re facing a challenge
- Offer referrals and recommendations
- Thank them when you receive a product/service
- Reply and follow up when they reach out
- Celebrate when the collective network comes together to make things happen
- Remember that behind every business are human beings that need relationships to survive
My dear friends, we’re in the season of Thanksgiving, and I’m so very thankful and grateful that you are a deeply important part of my personal network, and much more relevantly, my world! Let’s continue to get to know each other, help each other out, and thrive together.
My very best wishes to you.