It can be awkward to pick up the phone to reconnect with lost colleagues, but not during the holidays.
This is the perfect time of year to rekindle professional and personal relationships.
Consider all the people you’ve been meaning to call over the last year, but haven’t. Make a list and spend an afternoon on the phone just calling people to catch up and wish them well for the holidays.
When it comes to the holiday circuit, be prepared: people are either stressed or jovial, rarely in between.
Most parties have a sense of enthusiasm as people start to slow down and get into vacation mode. This is not the time to do the hard sell when mingling — not that there is ever a good time — but it’s a great environment to get to know people on a more personal level.
Discussions about holiday plans, family outings or hobbies like skiing can lead to great conversations.
You may find yourself connecting with someone on a deeper, more personal level, which can carry the relationship into the new year.
Then, of course, there are those who are stressed. Too much to do, so little time and it’s written all over their faces and in their actions.
Already you can notice people getting grouchy with store clerks and snappy in checkout lines.
At these times, rather than respond to the negativity, I always try to be nice and lighthearted.
Even if they’re mean to you, it’s impossible to know what challenges they’re facing right now.
And how you react will contribute to your overall brand and how others feel about you. After all, you never know who’s watching in the next checkout line — it could be your biggest client.
Another great way to maximize the holidays in your networking efforts is to get involved with charity work. There is no shortage of organizations looking for hands-on volunteers or financial contributions.