Sunday, July 20, 2008

JWN: Reconnect

Photo Note: My oldest brother Jack and I at Eric and Michelle Canfield's wedding in Port Jefferson, New York.


By: Joseph W. Norman

Whether we’re talking about business or personal satisfaction, the power of our network of relationships is an irrefutable fact. It seems though that we often focus on meeting more and more people to build that network, rather than drilling down a little deeper into the relationships we already have. It is crucial to reconnect!

This thought stems from my 1,500 mile jaunt across New York State in my little Honda Accord over the last week. With gas prices the way they are, reading that mileage figure probably just made you cringe. It did the same to my bank account. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t take a mile of it back because I got the opportunity to see a variety of old friends, crash a wedding (as my brother Jack’s date), and have a Norman Brothers’ reunion!

There is nothing better than a face to face reunion. Phone calls from old friends are fantastic, but a cup of coffee together is even better! Whenever I travel I try to make plans with somebody I haven’t talked to in a while as it’s my opportunity to reconnect and deepen a relationship! That is a practice we should never take for granted!

Your action plan:

Know where your friends live. This seems simple, but people are always moving. Know where your friends are so when you’re traveling through their city you can catch them in person. I keep a detailed log of my contacts on my laptop and in my Blackberry. Also, resources like Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn are helpful.

Plan a trip around an event. Get yourself away from the office and actually go somewhere! Vacation is not a crime, it’s a necessity! Take your car and a day or two and see who you can find. Most of my traveling revolves around business conferences or special events like concerts, weddings, reunions, birthday parties, etcetera. Both are opportunities to reconnect! My recent trip revolved around a Thursday wedding in Port Jefferson on Long Island.

Be flexible. Plans change so be ready to adapt. Always have a Plan B. If one door ends up closing, it doesn’t mean another couch won’t make itself available! I’ve exercised that one plenty of times!

Follow up. After the adventure, thank those you reconnected with for their time and hospitality. Be grateful for them and let them know it! Giving thanks is a wonderful feeling!

Just do it! Don’t take my word for it, try it yourself. What is your next reconnection trip going to look like? You don’t have to go far. The friends 10 minutes away are just as important as the ones ten hours away!

Our relationships need to be nurtured. Give them what they deserve by devoting a little more time and energy to the ones you already have. It’s what makes life truly worthwhile!

Joseph W. Norman, resides in Macedon, NY, and is Chief Enthusiasm Officer of Notable and Newsworthy and Editor of The VIP Profiles. He offers lectures and keynote talks on leadership, personal, and professional development and is always up for a business lunch.

Joseph can be reached at or 607.743.8569.