Springtime – A Season of Growth

March 25, 2009 by Rose Cook

Finally, it’s Springtime!  With daffodils peeking out of the ground and the sun staying out longer each day, I can’t help but feel re-charged.  Merriam-Webster defines Spring as a “season of growth and new development.”   No better time than the present to plant new seeds, take care of the neglected plants, and then take in their beauty.
Not the gardening type?  Well, consider celebrating this “season of growth” in another way.  How about planting new seeds by starting new relationships or nurturing the ones that have been neglected over the years?

In my own personal quest for work/life balance, believe me, I’ve had my ups and downs.  There were times when my friends even forgot I existed (too wrapped up in the day-to-day craziness of work.)  I could’ve used a wakeup call (or two) to remind me what’s really important.

Just this week, I placed a “good karma call” to a friend (you know who you are.) We talked about how terrific it feels to get a call from someone out of the blue, just to say hello, even if it ends up on a voice mail…  “Hi Rose, I was just thinking about you and wanted to let you know.  No need to call me back.”  Good karma…. It’s about cause and effect.  You create it and it comes bouncing back.

Another fun way to re-connect and renew friendships is through Facebook.  It took several months of prodding from Lynn to convince me, but I finally relented.  Much to my surprise, I’ve re-connected with a bunch of folks and I have to admit I’m actually enjoying it.  What started out as a few short email messages quickly turned into renewed friendships and plans to reunite.  Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook’s founder) would be proud.  Social networking at its finest!

I often hesitate to use that dreaded “networking” word because for some it conjures up visions of strangers awkwardly exchanging business cards.  Networking is really just about talking to people, getting to know them, and better yet, helping them in some way.  Great networkers focus on giving, not getting.  Mary Kay Ash (of the cosmetics empire) had a favorite saying: “Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.'”  A little genuine appreciation goes a long way toward building relationships.

Don’t have a LinkedIn profile yet?  What are you waiting for?  Get registered.  It’s free and is a great tool for keeping up with business contacts even when they’ve changed companies.  Take it a step further and write a recommendation or two; what better way to show your appreciation.  In today’s uncertain economic and employment climate, all the more reason to get out there and get connected.  Just don’t wait to be unemployed and then decide to become the master networker. Sorry… a bit too late.

Did you spend the winter hibernating and hiding behind your emails?  Pick up the phone, schedule a lunch, or walk down the hall for a healthy change.

Spring has sprung!  Celebrate this season of growth by nurturing your personal and business relationships. I guarantee your life will feel more balanced (and your career will benefit too.)

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