Connections That Pay Dividends
By: Niel Dawson
At the beginning of the year I attended the annual “White Stone Ceremony” at my church that entails choosing a word that you want to live by this year and writing it on a white stone. You keep this stone close to you, (I keep mine on my nightstand) to remind you of your intention. This year I chose “connecting,” and it does seem to be guiding me through the first month of the year.
So what is it about connections that is so important to me? Well, I believe we are all connected and what actions an individual takes affects not only those around us, but ripples out far beyond our immediate connections. What are our immediate connections? I believe they are endless and start with family, friends and co-workers. As I started to think about all of my connections, I realized there are many more than I was initially aware, and you may do the same. For example, your business connections like those that contract with your business to perform work. Then, it goes on to your employees, suppliers, sub-contractors, banker, accountant, attorney and anyone that you do business.
That’s your business connections, but then there are your personal and social connections, from friends, family and social relationships and so many more. And many of these connections move from business to social and friendships. With some of these connections you make an effort to develop them, while others develop without effort, and yet others seem to stay at the same level, or even drop off.
I have decided to become more aware of these many connections and make a conscious decision to develop those that I choose to move to either a deeper level. Some make take a bit more effort, yet there are little things you can do to show others around you that you appreciate them, and in so doing you send out ripples of good that will go out to others, and eventually back to you. Take advantage of those opportunities to connect with those around you, and positively affect their lives.
Both making new connections and strengthening existing ones takes courage because in making that effort we are exposing ourselves to the “they make not like me” syndrome. This is a natural response that our egos use to seemingly protect us. However, by not making and effort to create new connections or deepen current ones, we’re not going to enjoy the wonderful benefits that come when we make the effort. These benefits come in many forms, whether it be more business for our company, more pleasure from enjoying family and friends, or getting the support you need in challenging times. Risking is receiving, and in this case the dividends return to you in multiple ways – happy connecting!