Today I’m thinking about connections and relationships . . .
Unfortunately, the nostalgia of neighborly conversations on the porch has rapidly transformed into real-time, efficient, digital “communication.”
Our connections with other people and the building of meaningful relationships appears to be dwindling under the weight of a quicker, more tech-based, social media era.
But, I’m not losing heart!
With social media as the norm, with text messages (and status updates and re-tweets and pins) on the rise, people are becoming more aware of the negative impact these means of communication can have on our personal relationships. Ministries and churches are struggling to connect deeply with people even though it is now easier than ever to “connect.”
We need focus to ensure the art of intentional relationships does not fade away the more our society “advances.”
Here are some key thoughts for you to remember as you reflect on how this impacts your ministry:
Go against the flow
Just because everyone else is doing it all the time, doesn’t mean you have to . . . or in the same way. Jot down thoughts on your personal style of connection and relationship building. Then, evaluate how to use today’s communication tools to enhance your style, not replace it. Remember to retain your personal flair and desire for real relationships in all you say and do.
Don’t be afraid to take a timeout
The world will not end if you stop using social media for a few days, or even a few weeks. Really, it won’t!
If you find yourself relying too much on these tools to connect and build relationships with others, take a few days off. Pick up the phone. Book a coffee appointment. Meet in person. You’ll be amazed at how energizing and productive it can be to share and dream and build ideas with others face to face.
If you don’t currently use these tools, then perhaps it’s time to reconsider. There’s a great big world full of amazing people, great ideas and collaboration waiting for you!
Remember to be intentional
Intentional means doing (sometimes hard) things on purpose. Finding Time. Taking action, every single day. You’ll find that the more you build intentionality into your day, the deeper your connections and relationships will be. It’s simple … just show you care, and others will respond.
By now you might be thinking this all sounds great in theory, but how to act on it? Here are 20 ways to cultivate resonance in your connections and relationships.
1. Randomly call 10 people you’ve not spoken with in a while just to encourage them.
2. Schedule coffee with a close friend just to hang out.
3. Write a personal note of thanks to each of your team members.
4. Email several clients just to express your appreciation for them.
5. Book a luncheon with a new friend you’ve met recently.
6. Meet with someone you are trying to mentor.
7. Meet with one of your mentors.
8. Create a Twitter account and start tweeting.
9. Give away some free time just to help someone in need.
10. Ask your family to be brutally honest with you about your life, then act on their suggestions.
11. Seek open and honest feedback from your clients.
12. Pull together a small team to innovate for 2015.
13. Strike up a friendly conversation with a complete stranger.
14. Leave a comment or two on several blogs.
15. Create a Facebook page focused on building relationships with others.
16. Take your spouse on a date this weekend.
17. Follow through on a promise you’ve made to your family and friends.
18. Make a new friend out of an old neighbor.
19. Call a long-term friend to catch up on their life.
20. Seek out and relate to a “life” mentoring group.