21, Aug 2023
The Power of Building Connections
The Value of Building Connections
It’s been said that it’s all about who you know. While that may be true to some extent, there’s also a lot of value in building connections.
For example, eye contact is a great way to show someone you care about them and want to build a connection with them.
As humans, we are inherently social. While caring for the body and mind is important, so too is establishing and maintaining connections with others.
Strong relationships have a positive impact on mental, emotional and physical health. They decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation, increase life satisfaction, promote resilience and enhance coping mechanisms.
They can also improve adherence to medical treatments and lifestyle behaviors such as exercise, healthy eating habits and avoiding harmful behaviors like smoking or excessive alcohol consumption. Studies also show that they can lower suicide risk and help people live longer.
Developing close friendships and socialising regularly with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours is essential for good health and wellbeing. It can be as simple as taking the time to phone someone, meet for coffee or go on a walk in nature. These are all connections that have a profound and lasting impact on the brain, heart and soul. They bring joy, purpose and meaning.
Many of your professional connections will come from outside the workplace. Former professors and instructors, members of your fraternity or sorority, and even neighbors or relatives might have valuable professional connections. Consider asking these people if they would be willing to introduce you to someone in their network who shares your interests, values and aspirations. If they agree, be sure to follow through within 24 hours.
Reach out to your network occasionally, at least a couple of times a year. This shows that you are still thinking about them and that you value their feedback and input. Share content you think they might find useful, or comment and tag them in articles they are sharing on social media. This will help position you as a knowledgeable and valuable resource. If your network has ever helped you, be sure to thank them. This will demonstrate your gratitude and may inspire them to offer additional assistance in the future.
Mentorship is an important professional development tool that can help you hone your skills and learn new ones. These relationships can also increase your career security and your upward mobility potential. Professional connections are also able to inform you of job openings within their companies, including internal positions that may not be posted publicly.
Mentors provide mentees with knowledge on both a small scale (the nitty-gritty of workplace successes) and on a larger scale (how to build a long, fulfilling career). Mentees can learn from their experiences as well as their mistakes, which gives them the confidence to pursue their own goals and dreams.
A mentorship program can be formal or informal. Formal programs can be run through human resources or in conjunction with employee resource groups. To set up an informal mentorship, ask your manager for a recommendation or contact a peer in the same role as you. Then, take a proactive approach to building the relationship by scheduling regular times to talk on the phone or meet in person.
Taking steps toward career advancement can be both motivating and satisfying. A promotion demonstrates a company’s investment in an employee’s professional growth, and it also can signal an employee’s commitment to the job.
A promotion can take the form of higher pay or more significant workplace responsibilities. Other ways to advance professionally include learning new skills, such as a new software program, attending a webinar or workshop or taking a course at a local community college. These professional development activities can also help to make employees more attractive to potential employers.
Managers can help their teams pave the way for career advancement by providing clear, direct communication about the career path ahead. They can also offer tools, such as a collaborative meeting platform like Fellow, that allow workers to set agendas and record notes in one place. These steps can encourage employees to stay engaged with the organization and increase productivity in the long run.