Open Relationship Building: The 15-Minute Habit That Transforms Your Network - Forbes
Michael Simmons stashed this in How To Be A Super Connector
Relationship building in the 21st century will be drastically different than it was in the 20th. In this century, it will be more important than ever to have a large, diverse, and deep network. Open relationship building is a unique approach to building this type of network in your downtime.
This is a thoughtful article, Michael.
It offers concrete suggestions on how to best use the limited time we have to deepen relationships.
I love your anecdote about the CEO of Campbell's:
Rather than hunkering down in his office with his top lieutenants, he decided to reach across the entire company. After visiting each of the offices across the globe, he started two simple practices that defined his tenure and ultimately helped lead to a turnaround. He:
Walked 10,000 steps per day within the company visiting people across ranks and divisions.
Wrote 10-20 thank you cards per day to employees.
Why would a CEO with 20,000+ employees take the time connect with a few dozen employees each day? Wouldn’t that just be a drop in a bucket?
The answer comes down to a concept that Doug coined called Touchpoints. Doug realized that short moments with people could be exponentially powerful.
Here’s what he found:
It’s possible to build a lifetime connection in just a few minutes. In today’s age of information overwhelm, it is increasingly becoming accepted to not respond to emails, even from people you know. There are even lower expectations from strangers, especially if you have a higher profile. Simply responding shortly and quickly and being helpful can make someone’s day or week. Imagine if you were a new employee at Campbell Soup, a company with 20,000 employees, and you were able to spend a few moments with the CEO of the company. How could you not tell everyone you know about the experience?
It increases the diversity of your network. One of the biggest research findings in the field of network science is thepower of having a diverse network. By having a network that consists of people who don’t know each other, you’re more likely to be successful in your career as measured by title, salary, and promotions. Diversity was critical for Doug because it helped him reach out vertically and horizontally across the company.
It keeps you connected to what people really want and need. By noticing the words people use, the questions they ask, and their nonverbal communication, Doug was able to gain valuable insight in what was really happening throughout the company. This can also be a valuable form of market research with your target market.
It builds a community based on generosity. Sharing your advice helps you feel a deep sense of service by helping potentially transform someone’s life path in just a few minutes. It also serves as an example of others who pay-it-forward. During Doug’s tenure, the employee engagement ratio (engaged employees vs. not engaged employees) went from 2:1 to 17:1. 12:1 is considered world-class.