I have been enjoying my email and social media connections lately. Over the years I have developed the habit of reaching out to my colleagues and clients at this time of year just to check in and see how they are doing.
Responses support my continued commitment to this initiative. Many tell me how they have learned, grown, changed, and risked in the past year. They all appreciate my having touched base. They often ask to get together or even thank me (again) for the work we have done together.
Some apologize for not having let me know that they are fine….that they have put a lot of our ideas into place, or that they have achieved a goal we set. Of course, they promise to follow up better this year, not just with me but with other contacts as well.
And I wonder if I had not reached out, would I be having this pleasurable dialogue?
Got me thinking as well how tough it sometimes is to remember to follow up beyond the initial project or meeting thank you note/email. It is easy to lose track, lose touch and then not know how to recover. Then, when we might need advice or a referral, it becomes a real challenge to reach out after a long period of silence.
I will say that since this is such a common gap, most people are more than happy to hear from a long lost colleague. And, sometimes, we find out they remember us in fond and surprisingly complimentary ways.
It’s really worth the effort!