Make That Connection Personal

Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype, smartphones, and other social media tools mean we can pass messages much faster and more frequently. With everyone in a time crunch and trying to cover as much ground as possible, these tools can help us, especially when we need to transmit messages to many people. However, these tools also serve as a wall that protects us from real interactions.

In their book The Generosity Network Jennifer McCrea, Jeffrey C. Walker and Karl Weber show us how person-to-person connections lead to discovery, growth—and often amazing results. Below they give us some tips to make our communications more personal and more intentional:

• Set aside part of each day for personal communication, and keep it sacred. Choose an hour or two at a time that suits, and don’t allow anyone to usurp that time for staff meetings, report reading or other routine activity.

• Never eat lunch alone. Rather than wolfing down a sandwich, use lunch hour as a time to renew acquaintances with someone important, either inside or outside the organization.

• Make time for regular contact. Eliminate those times when you have to call someone asking for a favor and then apologize for letting so much time elapse since your last conversation.

• Over time, expand your list of key contacts. Create an extensive list of important donors, partners, allies and friends of the organization, and talk to each on a regular schedule.

• Use downtime to maintain personal connections. Pull out the cell phone or keep a stash of note cards.

What practices do you employ to make your connections personal?

Read more about the Generosity Network.

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Sharon Rabb has more than 25 years of experience in fundraising and nonprofit management for both large and small organizations. She currently serves as Project Specialist for tCampaign Consultation, Inc . Rabb holds a Master Degree in nonprofit management from Notre Dame of Maryland University and wrote her thesis on Women and Philanthropy: a design for approaching female donor prospects. Read more.

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