Thursday, January 31, 2008

66 Tips For Better Networking - #54 - Reconnect

Route 66 - The Journey Toward Success

Reconnect With Old Friends and Business Associates

Our transient busy society makes it easy to lose touch with people. Former co-workers, college pals, old friends and others can come and go in and out of your life. While this is normal, it is not always necessary. People are the most important asset to discovering your potential, and therefore a person lost is opportunity lost. A mutually respectful friendship can bring both parties more success.

The good news is that it is easier than ever to reconnect with people who have passed through your life. The pervasiveness of the internet over the last decade has put most people within reach within just a few key strokes. While not everyone can be found through a simple search, many others can be located with ease. (If a person has no online precence on sites like LinkedIn or Facebook it can make it more difficult. Also, a friend named John Smith might be hard to find locate because of the sheer number of people with the same name).

I recently made contact with a friend from childhood. We only exchanged a few emails and are not now best-friends again, but I really enjoyed finding this guy and learning about his life twenty five years later. He is happily married with four kids and is the founder of a successful business (and the winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Award in his area). As a kid I remember him as being interested in technology and was very smart, so I am thrilled to see his success.

As little kids we were buddies. Many of my fondest memories were running around on our street with him and other kids that populated the block. We were both strong willed and had some fact I remember our parents not letting us play together for a few days. A good strategy, as when the ban was lifted we were fast friends again.

Over time we drifted apart. We went to different elementary schools and I moved to a different house. I am not sure what happened, but as kids do, we went different directions. I have always regretted that because he really was an important friend. I think it was my fault on some level, as I was not always good at letting my friends know how I felt, and in some cases let childhood ego mess things up.

So I searched for him on Facebook. Bang, there he was. I sent him a connection request and then we traded some emails. I hope that his business travels will bring him to Austin (not uncommon for technology executives) and that he will look me up. Additionally, the next time I am speaking in the Silicon Valley I will reach out to see if he is free for coffee. I was happy to have talked with him (via email) and hope he was equally as touched.

Making such a connection with an old friend or business associate is no guarantee that you will re-establish a friendship, but if you do not try, I can promise no such relationship will appear. In most cases your old friends are glad to hear from you and happy to have you back in their life. While you will not always develop a mutually beneficial connection, why not try?

Think of three people whom you have lost touch with and go right now and search for them on the internet. Send them a note just to say "hello". If you find them, come back here and leave a comment about how it made you feel.

Have A Great Day.


1 comment:

Anita said...

In the last year, I've probably connected with five people I had not had contact with in 20 or more years. When I reached out to them, I wasn't sure what their reactions would be...did they have unfavorable memories of me and would tell me to buzz off? But you know what? They were all so happy to hear from me, and it was so fun to catch up on their lives. It made me realize that the fabric of my life is really much richer than I ever stopped to consider. The history and memories I share with these people is something truly special. Everyone should follow your lead.
Anita Bruzzese