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Now that I have explained the importance of making in-person connections, let us see the four principles in action. Specifically with your coworkers. While it is easier to get caught up in the day-to-day activity of completing projects and meeting deadlines. I would like to open your mind to a bigger picture. Building strong professional connections in one organization can lead to future opportunities elsewhere. So let us see how you can use the four principles of building connections in the workplace.
First give first by looking for opportunities to help those around you be successful. This isn't suggesting to others that if you scratch my back, I will scratch yours. Instead, it is knowing that if I help those around me good things will come back to me in time. Occasionally there will be people who may never do anything for you in return or who may view you suspiciously, do not let that discourage you from wanting to give and serve. As you set the tone and the example by being willing to do a little bit more for those around you, you will start a culture of giving first in the workplace.
The second principle use their name is fairly straightforward. Hopefully you have gotten to know the names and faces of the people that you work with, if you are struggling with that perhaps spend a bit of time studying a company directory or practicing their names. Also give credit where credit is due, if someone helped you succeed on a project make sure that you acknowledge them publicly by name. The third principle focus on the person means you do not multitask when you meet with them, turn off the computer screen if you're meeting in person and remove any distractions that might get in the way of giving your full attention.
Remember by focusing on the person you communicate to them that they are important. This also includes focusing on the people around you in a meeting, it is easy to feel that you're unnoticed in a meeting and that you can get away with checking your electronic device. The truth is people do notice, especially when they are talking and you are not listening to them. The final principle maintain contact means using tools such as social networking to stay in touch with people when they leave your team.
A friendly social network message, or e-mail every one or two months can be enough to stay in contact with past coworkers. Consistently use the four principles with your coworkers and you will improve your professional connections and see your opportunities accumulate over time.
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