I really do not have many regrets in life. Partially because I make reasonably intelligent choices most of time, and partially because I am too arrogant to admit I made a mistake in the first place. That being said, one of my greatest regrets in life has been my complete lack of effort in attempting to maintain relationships. I am great at building relationships with the people I work with, but when we no longer work together for whatever reason those relationships quickly fade away. I don’t make a strong enough effort to keep in touch with people.
I have been making much more of an effort to reconnect with some of the people from my past. I have harnessed the power of LinkedIn and used it to reach out to many people that I have not spoken to in years. I have picked up the phone and called a few people as well.
I would love to tell you that the result has been a magical rekindling of old friendships and I was able to pick back up right where I left off with all of my old contacts. I would love to tell you that, but that would not exactly be the truth. In some cases, I have absolutely reconnected and I think I actually brought some joy to the people I was reaching out to. My call was unexpected and I was reaching out for no other purpose than I wanted to talk to them. I think it made them feel very appreciated and special. In other cases the calls were very awkward and I think they were waiting for me to ask for something or trying to figure out what my angle was. Every call may not have had a fairy tale ending, but a few of them really made some old friends smile so I would consider the effort a success.
Here is my advice to you, reach out to an old contact today. Call them, don’t email your communication. I had a much higher success rate with the phone calls I made as opposed to the emails I sent. If one of your old contacts is still local to you, then arrange to have coffee or meet for breakfast one morning. My career path would have been far better if I had taken the time to maintain relationships throughout my career. It took me a very long time to realize the value of maintaining relationships. Fortunately, I like to believe that I am still evolving so I am taking the necessary actions to correct my behaviors. Learn from my mistakes and regrets and reach out to someone today that you have not spoken to in a long time. Step away from Twitter and Facebook and actually connect with someone today.