Today I met with one of my longstanding colleagues for coffee. It was a planned affair since we needed to coordinate our schedules. This was so important to us that we both, took time from our schedules to be fully present and engage with each other.
We sat opposite each other for two hours and chatted. We exchanged where we were at and asked each other questions, gained insights about where we wanted to be, while offering thoughts and ideas on what may be next.
It was so good to be with someone whom I knew and who knew me and to just be. It was great to meet over coffee, instead of over mind altering drinks and consciously sit and chat.
As it turned out we both wanted the same thing. We wanted to connect with each other, we wanted to express ourselves without dumbing down and enjoy a conversation, and that was exactly what we did.
We explored the idea of networking and discovered that neither of us were good at it nor interested in it. We realized that we were dissonant with the word and that it did not speak to us and what we hoped for when meeting people. We were not interested in where people worked or what they did, we were interested in whom people were and what made them tick. We were interested in relationships.
We shared that we had both withdrawn from the networking events, the Friday night limes and we were both looking for the place that we could be, the people who we could just be with and the people who were genuinely interested in whom we were and not what we did.
We acknowledged the importance of relationships to us and our need to connect with people in the simplest of ways.
It was wonderful to sit with a kindred spirit and to be with someone of another gender and to hear him express my feminine desire.
This was more proof to me that we all want the same thing. We all want to be connected and we all want to be in right relations with each other. It is that simple
It was so good to connect with someone, to spend quiet time, to listen and be listened to.
After meeting with him, I resolved to spend time, precious time with all my friends over this festive season and into the New Year. I want to show up and be in relation with each and every one of them; yet I am not going to network, or to pump hands at a party.
My commitment is to build new relationships where possible, and to cement the good relations that I have.
How do you network? How do you maintain your relationships?