By Sheryl Nicholson, CSP
I was driving back home after the birth of my grandson, Jorden. The birth, the miracle, the blessing and yet he made me aware of a poignant deficit in our lives. From the minute he was born, that baby wanted to get a grip. It didn’t matter if it was Mama’s breast or Daddy’s finger; he had to get a grip. It was a natural instinct to make a human connection.
I thought about how isolated working people have become today. We don’t have time for ourselves let alone others. I remember 31 years ago when my first child was born and how we would go on picnics with our neighbors. If I didn’t have pictures of our camping trips I believe I would have sworn we never had time to just take off for days for the woods. No phone? No computer? No kidding!
So why is a People Connection so important to maintaining a balanced professional life?
With rightsizing and mergers, no job is guaranteed. Gold watches as retirement gifts come from a past era. You need to be aware of what other opportunities are available to you. HR directors still prefer to hire someone that has been personally recommended over a resume in response to a newspaper advertisement.
According to Training Magazine, put out by the American Society for Training and Development, the college student today will have five different dedicated careers before he/she retires. Always knowing “what else is out there” is a good skill honed by being connected with others.
In Harvey MacKay’s book, Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty, he talks about the impact of networking on the advancement of a career. With his techniques, his own children were able to graduate from college with a database of over 3,000 names. Think that will come in handy with their job search? His book also pointed out the difference in the way men and women network. I certainly have changed some of the things I do based on his techniques. So pick up that book this week and enjoy while learning!
2. Risk-taking Confidence
Your confidence is higher when you walk the risk-taking tightrope with a “people net” below you. Not all of us are lucky enough to be married to the same type of personality pattern we bear. Opposites attract, fun to date, but challenging when married. Some marriage counselors agree that it’s impossible to expect to get ALL your needs met by one person (your spouse). Develop that support net legitimately, outside your marriage through associations, church groups, and civic clubs.
3. Knowledge and Diversity
There are definite advantages to getting a grip with people who are NOT like you. Since I’ve had the opportunity to live abroad and speak a foreign language, I believe Americans must work harder to become tolerant of diversity. When I travel several thousand miles in Europe, I hear different languages, taste different foods, see different clothes, and customs. Here, that same number of miles brings identical malls, franchised foods, and maybe a little accent in our common language.
Peak performers stretch their minds by getting a grip with as many people as they can. They strategically grasp the hands of others that can shorten their learning curve. Remember we are moving from the technology age to the information age and you can’t expect to know it all. You can balance your life by relying on the knowledge of others.
Your success in life will depend upon how well you recognize, understand, and connect the differences in your people puzzle.
About Sheryl Nicholson, CSP: CSP Sheryl Nicholson is an International Professional Speaker and Author and rated in the top 8% in the profession. She has been doing training since the 1980s and also has a private coaching business. She is known as a People Productivity Expert focusing on skill development in sales, leadership, time management, goals, communication, and life balance. Her articles are published everywhere. For more information view www.sheryl.com or call 727.729.4937.