I produced a video yesterday for our local leadership networking forum, First Fridays Fort Wayne. I wanted to share the text of what I said on video. This is all about how we can stay connected during this quarantine environment that we are all hoping ends soon.
…We’ve moved meetings and events to Zoom and Skype platforms. We’ve been entertained by the sound of barking dogs, children asking a parent for something to eat, and squealing brakes of a garbage truck in front of our house while these meetings go on. We’ve hoped and prayed our internet speed holds up. We’ve been bombarded with emails, instant messages, and more meetings.
And we do all of this in relative isolation from each other.
We are suffering from what someone in our area has called technology fatigue.
Don’t get me wrong. Technology is great! But is cannot ultimately replace the face-to-face interactions that so many of us are missing.
So how can you stay connected professionally during this quarantine?
- Talk with another leader outside of your company. Pick up the phone, Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, etc. Literally, talk with someone you were connected with prior to the quarantine. It does not have to be about work or your career. Just make a person-to-person contact. A friend called me the other day to ask some questions. It was SO GOOD to hear his voice. We need this kind of interaction. Just like the old telephone commercial says, “Reach out and touch someone.” (just don’t physically touch them…we’re not supposed to do that!) You get the jist…
- LinkedIn connections. So many of you are on LinkedIn today. This is a great tool to stay connected. When you read someone’s post, comment on it. Send them a message.
- Write a note and mail it. Let me say that again – write someone a note and mail it. That still works! Encourage someone. Tell them you are thinking of them. Ask them to pass this idea along and to send someone they know a similar note.
- Email someone. About once a month, I send a few people an email thanking them for their contribution to our community. I thank them for how their company is positively impacting us all. It makes a difference in that person’s life. Try it.
- Recommend a book to read or a podcast to listen to. Do this through your socially media channels. There are many of us out here who are looking for the next book to read or a podcast that will help us grow. You can be a resource for someone’s personal, professional growth.
- Even in the midst of a quarantine, you can network. Attend a First Fridays online event. As I shared earlier, we have some great online events coming in May. Greater Fort Wayne (our local chamber of commerce) is offering a variety of sessions with flexible times/days to connect with others. Take advantage of these great opportunities. Make technology work for you to network!
- Give back. We all know how devastating this quarantine has been. So many businesses are at risk of closing never to open again. I’ve driven by small businesses in town seeing their site closed with For Sale signs out front. Support local businesses in any way you can. Order carry out from local restaurants. Buy a t-shirt from them. Buy other products that they offer. Recently I order a t-shirt and hand sanitizer from Three Rivers Distillery Company here in Fort Wayne. It was a simple way to support a local company who has pivoted their business to serve the needs of our community. It was an investment of $24 from me to do this.
I hope that this quarantine comes to an end very soon. We need to get our economies going and growing again. But in the meantime, do what you can to connect with local leaders.
Let’s keep our community’s foundation strong. Encourage one another. Help one another.
As my new t-shirt says, “We’re better together.”