Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Do You Know Your Neighbors?

I am fascinated by how many people do not know their neighbors. When I was a kid all the people on the block knew each other. All the children knew that everyone was watching them (and would report back undesirable activities to mom and dad).

Today the connectivity amongst people on the block is not as strong. Sure, there might be some people you know, and the courtesy wave is popular when folks walk by... but many people don't know that much about those who live close to them.

It is worse at work. Do you know the people on your block? In your building? In your elevator bank? How about on your floor?.

There is no excuse not to know the people who work on your floor. If your work for a company that is not so large as to occupy the whole floor... and you don't know the workers in the business next door -- then shame on you. This gets you an "F" in Networking 101.

But you can bring your grade up. With the holidays coming... make this the point that you meet the neighbors. Invite the other companies on your floor to your office for lunch. No agenda, just people meeting people. Cater in sandwiches and have everyone go around the table and explain who they are and what is their role at the company.

Maybe they will become a great referral source. Maybe not. Either way, next time you are waiting for the elevator you will be able to talk to each other instead of staring at your shoes. Making friends is always a good thing.

Same idea for those who live on your block or in your apartment building.

Have A Great Day



Sue Rostvold said...

This is simple stuff, but as we know simple doesn't always mean easy. There is some effort involved and that's where it gets tricky for some.

What a concept though. Connecting with those that you are already connected with, even if it's only that you share the same building or the same block. It's a start.

Patti DeNucci said...

While I don't know ALL my neighbors, I know and absolutely adore my immediate neighbors. Most of them are older so they have been like surrogate parents / aunts / uncles. One neighbor is a prolific author and gives me excellent advice when my writing cells seize up. Another just gave me a welcomed tip on where I should buy my next car. Still another brings us fresh baked bread on chilly winter nights, and one is a total comedian who stops me as I drive by in my car to tell me his latest joke. In return, we offer them use of our truck, muscular teenager (and his equally strong friends) when they need something moved or lifted, and we check on them if we don't see them out and about. We are so blessed and I am so happy we've made time to get to know each other. Community and mutual respect makes for a peaceful and secure neighborhood.

Jason of Kim & Jason said...

Growing up, we lived right next door to my aunt and uncle on one side and my Grandma on the other. Not quite a "normal" neighborhood. Kim and I bought our first home in April and it's my first "real" neighborhood! Believe it or not, we're actually going over to one of our new neighbors for dinner tomorrow night for fondue. Clearly, this post comes at an appropriate time for us, and I'm looking forward to what new connections might open up!

Leslie M said...

People who do not know their neighbors are missing a lot. Not only are they generally interesting and will you have a lot in common with them (they did select a house in your hood, after all) but they are good in case of a crisis. Or the need of a lemon. It's also important to network with your neighbors for services. "Hey. My housekeeper just moved. Does yours have any availability?"