What can you learn about networking from your Christmas card list

One of the joys of this time of year for me is that I reconnect with
so many people in the annual exchange of Christmas cards. In some cards
I get short update messages of what has happened in the past year but
in most there is just a cheery “Happy Christmas” and signed names.

But for me it is not about the card – its about the memory of why am I in touch with this person – albeit just once a year

Like many people who celebrate Christmas  the list  includes  
family ( of course) . Then there are maybe old  neighbours with whom we
shared a day to day life for a period of time.  And parents of
children’s friends when they were at school. Add a sprinkling of former
colleagues  and people we shared an experience with – studying,
attending a conference, holiday etc and throw into the mix those who
met in a wide range of one off activities and with whom enduring relationships
were formed.The thread through all of these is that no matter how long
it is since we last actually met up – if we did it would be easy to
pick up where we left off and we would have loads to talk about.

 I think there is a lesson to be learned there for networking generally.

There are many business cards ( remember them ) in my organiser that
I am committed to compiling a database with sometime soon and e-mail
addresses in my contacts. There are my Facebook friends and Linkedin
contacts along with my Twitter followers/followed as well as those who
have taken the time to comment on my blog.

Am I in contact with all of those people all of the time?  Of course not.

Can I remember why we first connected? On Facebook, Linkedin and my
blog  – yes I can. Looking through those business cards brings back
memories too! To be honest  though with Twitter I can’t but I know why
I am connected with a large proportion of them now !

Could I e-mail/ pick up the phone to chat about something of potential mutual interest ?  Yes indeed.

Would we support and encourage each other in challenging times  and
send congratulations on good news ? Well all of the evidence based on
previous experiences suggests so.

And I am looking at my Christmas card list to see if there is
anybody on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter with whom I can connect with throughout the year too. Now that could be fun!

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