|VMUG Leader Summit Feb 2020|
The recent pandemic has caused us to really examine our personal and work environments. Most of us have had to learn to be fluid and adjust accordingly to the constantly changing global situation. However, vaccines are starting to roll out and there is a sense that the end is in sight. I've spent many nights asking myself ,"what do face -to-face meetings and happenstance encounters we cannot predict look like now?" For over a year now those encounters have not taken place, and I predict we will continue to feel that 12+ month void of random connections for many years.
We have all had the experience of meeting someone, face-to-face, that led to an important event in your life. Perhaps a friend or a business colleague, your spouse, or your next job. Those "random connections" have not taken place for a very long time.
Our lives are often shaped by these connections, but for some, these connections are a necessity. It’s why we go to large conferences, local meet ups, and even local sports event or pubs. A random conversation starts, and a connection is made. I can point back to many random conversations that led to business successes that I was not expecting. Some of those "random connections" are still yielding fruit today.
While we can maintain connections during a virtual world; unfortunately, new connections are almost impossible in a virtual world.
So now what? When I get back out there, I want to be hyper aware of potential connections. Try to make up for some of the connections missed. I plan on giving conversation a few more minutes to mature. I'll try to make a connection to a virtual event we may have attended together. While making a connection virtually isn't ideal, use that virtual encounter to help with face-to-face connections.
An extra step to take is the immediate follow up. This can be a quick email, follow on socials, or text saying it was good chatting with you. Something to trigger a memory to lay the foundation for the next time you meet.
As the world slowly gets past this pandemic, I encourage you to stay positive and start to prepare for face-to-face encounters again. Start to plan on meeting people in person, even if it is months away. Some larger conferences are planning on being in person in 2021. Local events will be the first to come back and a great place to start.
One positive to this global pandemic is we all have something in common now. It's an easy way to get a conversation started. And you never know; it could lead to a conversation that may be the next big connection in your life.