SEN Blog

Staying Connected With Your Peers

The pandemic has been such an awful time for so many people around the world, but it has also been a reminder for us about the things that really matter—the people in our lives and the love we have for them.

— Ananya Birla
Singer, Songwriter

 

These days are different on an unprecedented scale, but they are also regrettably the same. The pandemic has brought sweeping change and boredom with it as well. We have been busy creating innovations for the way we do business. It’s a great time to show people what’s new within our organizations and find out how our peers are performing.

Save time and improve your relationship with clients

Think about where you were this time last year. Probably right around the corner from fearing the worst: my business is going to go under. Perhaps you were more optimistic (and correct to believe) that things would not be as bad as initially predicted. Like everyone else in the world, you were about to undergo a major test of faith and patience in a long period of waiting with an uncertain, still yet to be determined outcome.

Chances are high you’re doing better than you predicted for your business eleven months ago.  Also likely is that most people are using their time more effectively these days. We’re not all at home biting our nails wondering how soon this thing will pass and how bad the ultimate ramifications to our families or businesses will be. Instead, we likely have a better understanding of where this is all going and know that we will not only survive it, but thrive through the end of these strange times.

While tragedy and uncertainty also remain high, we have created normalcy for how we live with this pandemic. Clearly, most people are communicating with associates, friends and loved ones virtually more often than in person these days. Most are doing as well as can be expected during this pandemic, but we may not be connecting as much as we would like with our social networks or our business associates.

Positive reinforcement becomes reciprocal

People want to hear how you and your business are faring. They want to know of the innovations you’ve made and to tell their business partners, friends, and associates that they too are doing well. It’s natural to want to communicate good news, and it’s healthy to do it.

Reaching out to your peers to find out how they are doing can alleviate some of the stress that has come with the lockdown. Finding out about others naturally frees the mind from the burdening thoughts which all too often occupy us.

Let people know how you’re doing and they will do the same in turn. Reinforcement is a reciprocal relationship. When we let people know how we are doing, our peers will show us how they are doing in turn. When we ask them how they are doing, they will ask us the same. They will also be more likely to open up to others to ask them the same question because positive reinforcement spreads just like good gossip.

How and where to reach out matters

People want to vent about their problems. They also want to share their solutions and connect socially like everyone else. For these reasons, many of us have expanded our use of social media, though knowing where people prefer to communicate virtually is a big part of making meaningful contact.

Everyone has a go-to place to communicate online. Ask people where their preferred platform for chatting is, and the contact you make with them has a higher likelihood of being stabilized due to habit.

While some people prefer the visual engagement using a live, video application, others want to avoid virtual face-to-face contact due to it locking them into a commitment. They would rather reserve social calls for in-person engagements.

There are many options that can lessen the time we give our undivided attention to a computer screen. Communicating by voice message (texting with voice rather than text input) is a great way to relay information accurately because it eliminates most potential ambiguities from remote conversations. Alternatively, SMS, Google Hangouts, and other chat platforms may be more agreeable to the busy schedules of those with children.

Keep a stable balance between commitment and down time

Technology is intended to make the things we need and do more convenient. Often, our access to communication devices can be distracting. Knowing when and where you want to communicate online correlates to the value of your communication. With all of the options for chatting, talking, and face-to-face video calls available these days, it is important to choose and stick to our preferences in order to not be burdened by the very technology which is intended to improve our life.

We’re on Zoom and other camera-based platforms so often these days, hosting or participating in smaller, informal non-business engagements can do a world of good by serving our need to connect with others. While there is no substitute for an in-person drink or dinner engagement, reaching out to others on social media takes our minds off of stressful thoughts for a change, while letting us recharge from the formality of face-to-face dialogue.

A new way to connect with SEN members

The newly launched SEN Member Portal is our own platform to connect with each other in one location. This is a refined platform that consolidates all SEN-related resources. In it, you’ll have access to the SENtelligence library, find out about and register for upcoming events, be able to contact fellow members, browse vendor profiles, and stay current with one another.

It’s not the options available to us that give us peace of mind; it’s our choices in how we use them.  A little positive reinforcement can make a big positive change in someone’s life. Stay positive, and stay connected.

 

— Amy Alberta