How do you RESPOND? Personal Connections

Updated: Apr 21

At the time of this writing, the world faces a global public health pandemic, COVID-19 or coronavirus. The way we live, work, and interact with each other on a human level has changed.

I don’t think any of us imagined that 2020 would end up this way. I certainly did not imagine that I would be spending my birthday canceling a trip of a lifetime to the United Kingdom due to the travel restrictions put in place.

Over the next several weeks, I am making a shift in my blog articles on RESPONDing to the challenges of today:

RE: Release, Reboot, Rebound

S: Safe spaces

P: Personal connections

O: Own your confidence

N: Negotiations: Your time & your money

D: Determination & Grit: Stay Winning

Personal Connections

Social distancing has required all of us to re-evaluate how we interact with each other. Making and maintaining personal connections has been a challenge for many of us. Staying apart 6-feet and self-quarantine doesn’t foster the environment we are used to when it comes to building relationships. For the time being, we have to forgo:

  • Shaking hands

  • In-person meetings

  • Casually shopping—or even window shopping

  • Going to the movies

  • Going to concerts

  • Large picnics in the park

  • Hugging.

During this time of quarantine and working from home, we’ve had to make significant adjustments in the ways we connect with others.

It’s been tough.

However, the adjustments I’ve made during this moment of pause and counting my blessings, has actually encouraged more meaningful personal connections.

Here’s what I’ve done to make and maintain personal connections:

Text message check-in

I’ve received check-in text messages from friends and family that have been a welcome distraction from my thoughts. The “hey Crystal, you were on my mind,” or “Hey Queen, stay strong,” have put a smile on my face just when I needed it. Even the random picture of someone’s masterful meal has been a delight.

Phone calls

With all of the technology that is available to us to host a video call, I’ve appreciated the simplicity of a phone call. When you’re on video calls all day, having the “break” from reading body language and hoping you look your quarantine best is a welcomed rest. I’ve had some of the best conversations and moments to truly connect via the phone.

Video messages

I love using to send a quick video message to a friend or colleague. Sometimes I can speak faster than I can type and it’s nice for the recipient to see my facial expressions and body language on the subject.

Networking via 20-minute Zoom calls

Networking can still happen in the midst of COVID-19. It appears that everyone is on LinkedIn these days. I’ve definitely experienced the increase of “join my network” requests via LinkedIn. I try to take it a step further and invite that person for a quick 20-minute “get to know you” session. Some will take me up on the offer to chat, but you can certainly tell who is more motivated to boost their connections and/or trying to sell you something. The point is, networking can still happen, it just takes being intentional on my part. Check out my LinkedIn blog article about setting up a 20-minute meeting with your new connections.

These are my go-to methods to make and maintain my personal connections.

What are your go-to strategies to make personal connections? When was the last time you made a connection? If it’s been a while, perhaps now is the time.

“The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words. ”

Rachel Naomi Remen

If you’d like more ideas on how to connect, I’d like to suggest Kat Vellos’ new book, Connected from Afar, available on Amazon.

Peace & blessings.

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