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Authentically Maintaining Professional Relationships


Okay. I'm really excited about today's topic. When Kevin And I were talking about fun using it well what lessons can be learned for the tech world, but I would say, really any world, your personal life or professional life no matter what industry you're in. Relationships really matter. And today's is lesson.

The the the aim the goal here is to learn some strategies and tools from the fundraising world to bring that into whatever field you're in and to help you sort of create some method out of the madness and that you don't have that this and you're able to to stay in touch with people that you want to stay in touch with. Okay. We're gonna use a pipeline. Pipeline is not a dirty word. You may have heard that often in sales places.

I actually I'm working on a lot of content now in my work with sales. Pipeline is just... It's it's a container. It's a way to keep track of things. It's not...

It's not a dirty word. It's a tool. It's helpful. It can be your best friend. You don't have to call out a pipeline, but at the end of the day, whatever you're doing, you're gonna have a way to to to to keep all of your contacts together.

You could even argue that, you know, your phone or one of your social media platforms is a pipeline. So that's the language that we're gonna use today, and then you could translate it or reframe it and whatever language makes you feel good. But pipeline and general is a very helpful tool. Okay. So so helpful and so not terrifying, but we have a pipeline party slide.

When you think about... If if you've set a goal to yourself that you want to go ahead and maintain relationships with people, who are those people? And and I I just made a list here of of different types of people you may wanna see touch with, former colleagues, classmates, founders, acquaintances, any need different of the above. Maybe you have family connection who are people that you think could be interesting? Or or could be helpful or you could be helpful to them or whenever it is.

Make your list just have a brain up and think about all the people in the world that you met or want to me. And in in fun fundraising, you have donors and you prospects. Right? So let's translate to that to hear. You have people who have been your colleagues, but who do you want to be your colleague People you've already collaborated with, but who might you want to with in the future.

So the idea is to go ahead and just write all of those names down, and then we'll go from there. But that's the goal. And they she used to figure who who who are they and get them down on paper? Then we... The then we think about other places that we can meet people beyond the the real life scenarios.

I want talk about social media. Because when we talk about authenticity, a lot of people think that social media is think, Right? That people are put on for personas online and that they're different sorts of people, but the reality is that everyone expresses themselves different ways. Also put on my hat here as an educator. When you're a teacher, some people learn by listening, some people learn by viewing and by seeing some people need to have a tangent experience.

And social media platforms are really a way that people are interacting. And right now, for example, we barely know each other, but you may learn a bit about me. Maybe learned that I'd like to talk with my hands feel that I'm am an expressive individual, and social media is a way to really learn more about a person and granted it's the lens and the the way that we we, you know, put ourselves out there to the world. But it's a great way to find new people. You know, colleagues who are now colleagues because I saw they were so posting on social media.

I'm like, they're an interesting person. They share interesting articles. I I I'd love to follow with a conversation. So don't rule it off as in ina authentic just because it's not in your life. Especially in post Covid, we should be there, I think.

Okay. So we have your pipeline. That consists of people you actually met or interact with, and then you also have at any any place under the side of people that you want to maintain or create an relationship with. So basically, what we wanna do is make order from that. Again, you're going have this pipeline.

We're you're gonna create strategy and that that just means that you're being thoughtful. The same way that let's say the example that I gave Kevin we were talking about this, the same way that you wanna make sure that you wish if you have a good relationship relationship with your mother. You wanna make sure that you wish you're a happy birthday. Well, You may happen to remember, but you may also set a reminder. You may go ahead and put special life's milestones in your calendar, remembering any anniversaries or whatever it is, the graduation date, was you someone a a m hope if you will.

Those are all things that are not any less authentic just because we created system for what you're gonna do for that. You might have such a text message depending on the level. The relationship you might call. But the idea is that you wanna think about what type of relationships you wanna have? And then how are you going to nurture that and get and keep it going?

Okay. So here how do you do that? These are the tools. So you have... You can do this with the spreadsheet, you can do it in whatever you want.

But you wanna think big picture, who are all the different types of people I want to interact? With. What are the buckets and categories. Some of them may be from specific industries. Some of them maybe people you just wanna collaborate on an individual project with some people maybe people who live locally, You wanna have a meetup up in the park.

Some people are your family and you're you think you probably stand down to them. So go ahead and create those categories and then identify strategies because the way that you're are going to interact with someone who you want to fund your startup up is going to be very different than the person who wanna have a play date want your kids have a plate date. Right? So what you wanna go ahead and do is come up with these categories and then identify strategies for how you're going to maintain that relationship and and sort of move that forward propel it forward. And I'm gonna say this many times, you want to integrate accountability because you could come up with a million ideas of things you wanna do or accomplish, including maintaining relationships.

But if you don't have a way of holding yourself accountable, it probably won't happen. Okay. So this is how you do it. You've created your categories. And then you could go ahead and even rate them because let's say, I actually met someone yesterday who he said that he was writing a book about becoming friends with ten thousand people.

Now, I know a lot of people you a lot of people, but I don't know that I could have ten thousand friends. I have different... I have a lot of friends that I have different types of friends. I have some friends that they like to go long walks. With had some friends at they to having intense to debates with.

I have some friends that they just like to shoot the breeze with. Right? But we had different types of relationships and some are you know, are more in the inner circle and some farther out. And then based on that, I'll I'll make time for them based found sort of what the relationship is or what I wanted to be. So in order...

If if you wanna set up the system for that, go ahead and just own it. This is someone who I I think is an amazing person. I think we really click I wanna kick up the level of relationship. That's category circle friends, inner inter circle. You know, you can go ahead and figure out how you wanna or It however you'd like.

But the idea is that you wanna go ahead and figure out who are higher priority and who are people that you you wanna keep that relationship going, which practically, they're in a totally different time zone and and you wanna continue the relationship, but it's it's gonna be less often or whatever it is. And what you do is you go ahead and you think, what are your long term goals? Again, what are your short term goals? Your long term goals are I want to start a company with this person. You know, in ten years.

Short term. I just collaborate with them on a single project and see how it goes. And then based on that you may go ahead and you know, decide that don't you wanna change that wonderful goal or maybe you wanna ramp it up and do it sooner because it was so successful. But by going ahead and thinking long term, and that helps you go ahead and rate or category, categorize the people that you're interacting with. You could start with that sort of long term end end endgame in mind.

And then you figure out how you wanna get there and what steps you wanna take in order to get there. So you go ahead and have your long term rules, then you have your short term goals. And then what's critical when when I'm doing is is you always have next steps, meaning I'm gonna front... And gonna connect with them on linkedin or I'm gonna send them an email or I'm gonna message them on whatever discord or Slack or whatever whatever you're using. Or...

And basically, then you go ahead and you quote yourself accountable by having due dates, which are critical if you don't have a due date, probably not gonna happen. And then you figure out what's the next step after that so that you you want you sure that you're going ahead and making a step by step by step progress. To to to move that relationship forward. And the way I think about this also is when I was working on my dis, I have this five year goal. I wanted to finish within five years or less.

That was my... You know, I just... I Felt strongly if I do not want to drag on for you know, ten years or or even longer as a number of my colleagues had experienced. And I just decided I'm gonna make some progress every day. Even if it's just asking a place that I wanted to study and send an email and asking them if I could come ahead and study their campus.

Or I'm gonna, the send an email to my professor, or I'm gonna go ahead and spend five minutes editing this, you know, one page of the dis. I knew that if I'm making a step, I'm making progress and I'm gonna get there. And so to... With with with anything in like, but also in If you go ahead and create some next step even if it's just sending them an article that's that's interesting or, you know, sending them a text saying, like, happy holidays during holiday season. That matters.

So just keep on creating those next steps. Even if the next step is farther away, if they're a person that you don't wanna have this intense relationship with. If you just... Your next step is that, by thanksgiving, what you now we're in in March? You wanna make sure that you've which wish them a happy thanksgiving.

Sorry it's to everyone who's not in America. I can think of a better example. But you understand that gist of what I'm saying. We need to have next steps, need to have long term short term goals and a due date. And then you could always just refresh and see any few dates that you guys to make sure that you you go ahead and do that.

Okay? So everything there a excuse it's on theme with this evening with this or daytime event wherever you are. Basically, depending on the the type of the relationship, There's certain check that you may wanna just put your calendar. There's an annual... You you they be annually.

You know, you made someone who you you don't want that to be totally off the radar. There was something about them that you really valued. You still want them to know that you you value them as a person. And once a year you you go ahead and set somehow communicate with them so that they know that. So one thing that I do, there's a Jewish holiday of perm that just passed And this is something thing That I just came up with, but I really like it.

I make a donation to to to be people who cannot afford. Food on this holiday. And I let my friend know that ing honor I made this donation And it's my wave of letting people know that I I'm taking the time to... Even if it's just a copy and paste this message. They know that I'm taking a time to send it to them in particular and that they matter and oftentimes things happen from that.

You know, all of a sudden, you know, we check in. How are you? How are the kids doing? Where you living? Know?

But that's there are ways to sort of figure out for you. What is what does your annual tech look like? So people you wanna reach out to monthly, some people you wanna have a, you know, more interactions with and and you can figure out how how are you gonna go to... Sorry. How are you going to do that?

Will it be a phone call would it be sending a message? Would it be a coffee? Would it be a Zoom? Whatever it is, figuring out a way to maintain what that might look like. And then if it's weekly that could also look different.

The idea that you figure out what are different ways of checking in. And the people who you wanna have that most intense relationship with, you'll be using all one, two or three of those. Right? Do you wanna me make sure that you're maintaining whatever whatever it is. What's important again, I said, I would say more than once is accountability.

So you can have all these plans in place in the people that you really do care about that for for a variety of reasons. But if you're not doing this work, if you're not going ahead and making that effort, you're not gonna have the same type of relationship. If you're not expressing that interest or gratitude or or wanting your relationship won't grow. So I shared with here ways to to to make sure that you're doing this. When you could do it on your own.

And if that works that works, you could have an accountability buddy. Just checking in saying, you know, sort of what progress have you made or what's on your plate, whatever it is. This is something that happens in most workplaces. This is certainly something that happens in fundraising. You look at our sales look at your pipeline if figure out, you know, we wanna land this university as a client.

Well, I spoke to this person In that person, and next step is to go ahead and share with them this case study. That's that's my what made happen in sales. And when it comes to fundraising, it may be well, you know, we went out for lunch, but I promise them that I would you know, given the information about this theater, whatever it is. So going ahead and making sure that you're brainstorming in through with someone else that that may be a good idea. You could go to tech route that be inappropriate venue for this for this study.

Go ahead and and setting reminders and, you know, when you see that red flash that you failed, maybe that would inspire you to go ahead and make sure that you're falling through on on what you had wanted to do. At the same time, even if you have an initial plan, you have your next steps and have your due date and you're just not doing whatever it is. Maybe that was not the right way to approach this person or strategy or whatever it is. If it's not working. Turn to own rate just like the seasons.

That's okay. If there's something that's really keeping you up from going ahead and and and moving forward with your next step, maybe it's just not the right fit and maybe you wanna think of a different way to cultivate and maintain that relationship. Okay. The big question is, how is this authentic? Right?

I've just told you make a spreadsheet come up with strat injury, strategy, categorize next steps, accountability, due date, tech things. I think, you know, it's as authentic as as anything that we do where we use some other type of tool. Right? Back in the day, I still get these reminders with these both reminders. So some of social media platforms have changed that.

And and the question now is, you know, that's a great example actually. You know, I have a reminder of people's these. I know longer need to go ahead and make sure this in my calendar if I'm on that social platform on it on a daily basis, but there's some people wear right of their wall because I know it means a lot to move around their wall. There's some people who love private message them because I know that means a lot more to them. There's some people who will go ahead and send a whatsapp app or a text message or whatever.

And there's some people pick up the phone in call some people on make good video message for. The idea is that just because you have that reminder for Mark zuckerberg Cooper, let's tell you to go ahead and wish someone a happy birthday. Doesn't a mean that that happy birthday means anything less. And you're taking the time to go ahead and communicate with them in a way that you think really honors your relationship. So own that.

That's okay. Caring about people and using technology to accomplish things that you want to accomplish is a good thing. Use it to keep a safe on on on the Internet, we use it and, you know, we use technology in so many ways, why not to cultivate relationships with people who we care about. Okay. That's at friends because we're friends now.

Maintaining relationships is like, goal, create your accountability system. Go ahead and continue the conversation and just make sure that you have a way to make sure that the conversations and relationships and those those milestones are are sort of celebrated. You got this. So that is my short term presentation. I'm very much so happy to answer any and all questions you might have, and I'm hoping that you have them.