Village. Your village. Who is in your village? Do you have a community of support? Over the past few years, countless articles have been written about how the rise in social media has reduced our human interaction. In this post I am discussing simple ways to show kindness and nurture real connections.
Newspapers tell stories of isolated mothers. Media interviews talk of people who are not developing proper interpersonal skills. And then suddenly we are in a place where there is either no or limited interaction.
During COVID-19 this has been thrust into the front of every single human’s mind. Who are you missing? Who have you not been able to hug? Your community or lack of one has been placed in front of you like a mirror.
I am a Career Coach- Return to Work and HR expert but I am also an incredible community builder. It is one of the top things people ask me about. I just respond that I can make friends with someone in line at the grocery store (obviously not now!). But how do you create a community? How do you create a network of people who will support you, rally around you? Are willing to drop off flour, check in on you and be a part of your village? Let me tell you! Hint, a show of kindness is always a good idea.
1 – Reach out with kindness
Part of nurturing and growing your network in a genuine and meaningful way is to practice reaching out with kindness. The most important part of starting a relationship is instead of starting from an ASK. Can I write a blog post? Can you share my business in your group, can you volunteer to do X, Y. Z) start with a GIVE. This is a great way to grow your network or business without feeling salesy, slimey or pushy.
What is a give? A give is a compliment. An instagram message saying I love what you do, a thank you for helping to find your kid’s lunch box or telling someone how much you enjoyed their stand up routine. It is small. Make it meaningful. It is unfortunately uncommon and can really make an impact.
2 – Get personal
You can cement a relationship that you started online (hey all those Facebook friends who you don’t really know!) by setting up a phone call. Set up a zoom coffee. Check in on people. A quick “Hey how are you doing this week?”
3 – Be patient
Communities and friendships don’t grow overnight but they all start from the same small act. All a friendship really is, is a series of connections and memories that grow into more. Letting people know you are available to support them is sometimes the most comforting feeling in the world.
4 – Introverts could be key to your network
As a person I am often drawn to people who are funny, kind and very often introverts. I spend time sitting next to people who look like they would rather be stuck in a box somewhere then be in a crowd of people. Connecting with one person who will remember you is 1000x more meaningful than someone who has a line up of people who are waiting to spend 30 seconds with you.
5 – Be authentic
I am an open book, have nothing to hide and answer questions head on. And I give hugs and support freely to people who support me. Heck I am happy to listen to people who are not in my network because you never know where your next friend could come from! Be there for people. Be honest if you are struggling. In a world of lead magnets promising you great advice and then offering nothing, top 10 tips and pressure to SIGN UP NOW – It is refreshing to listen to someone who wants nothing more from you than to spend time with you, connect and laugh at your lame jokes.
Always lead with these simple ways to show kindness
Whether you are just a person who wants a more meaningful connection. A business owner trying to grow your support network or someone trying to grow a community – start small. Make your actions meaningful. Lead with these simple ways to show kindness. You will be surprised where it can take you.
About Allison Venditti
Allison Venditti is a Career Coach & HR Expert at www.careerlove.ca . She currently supports individuals and companies with her unique blend of no nonsense advice, over a decade of experience in dozens of different industries. And an unwavering mission to support working women and mothers. In her pre COVID spare time Allison could be found biking the streets of Toronto. Sitting with take out while watching the world go by. Or on a busy street or walking with coffee and a friend. Now she enjoys long walks around her living room. Grocery shopping online and pretending like she is someone who enjoys puzzles while her cat Tranceron silently judges her.
Get in touch with Allison:
Career Love website : https://careerlove.ca
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/careerlove.ca/
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/careerlove.ca/
For Stopping what you were doing and Dropping by <3