As humans, we need to belong. There’s nothing worse than walking into a restaurant by yourself and the host asking you solemnly if you are dining alone. For those of you shaking your heads “no,” - I get it - there are always exceptions. I’m totally guilty of going to a movie by myself and quite enjoy it. Although, in general, we are social beings. We like the presence of others that we consider to be “our people”. Face it, a crawfish boil or barbecue at the park are just lame by yourself.
Business networking groups, Bitcoin meetups, client happy hours, these gatherings exist to connect us and make the work we do more enjoyable. The best work relationships are those that go beyond deliverables and invoices. They’re the ones where you feel you’re a part of something bigger or connected to the people you work with in some way. I’d much rather hire the plumber that my bestie gave a glowing recommendation for than someone random from Google. Sharing a beer with a client and learning about their life makes us more invested in them, their success, and vice versus.
In the building of community, citizens build social fabric by transforming isolation into connectedness and caring for the whole. When we care for each other, we become accountable TO each other. We want our clients to succeed and the closer we are to them, the more we can make help them reach that reality. To sum it up: we are literally “better together”.
Give it a try! At the start of your next conference call, rather than getting down to business, start by asking the person on the other end something personal to show you’re listening.