Late November I received a holiday card from a good friend. He sends them before every holiday. Actually, he doesn’t send them, a holiday-card email service sends them to everyone on his mailing list.
He is a great guy and I’m sure his intention is to send a greeting to all his friends on each holiday and let them know he’s thinking of them.
I opened the first couple of email cards. I was pleased to receive them and glad to hear from my old friend. After waiting for the card to download, it had a cute sentiment with animated characters.
I no longer open them. They have lost their meaning because they are mass-mailed. He no longer is communicating that he is thinking of me during the holiday; only that he thought of me once when he assembled his mailing list.
This also applies to templated signature lines on emails. Someone who has “Thanks so much!” on every single e-mail is no longer communicating gratitude.
CONNECTION is not made with mass-mailings, email blasts, retweets or mass anything.
Making CONNECTION is not efficient.
CONNECTION is personal. It is made when you literally or figuratively look someone in the eyes and communicate a heartfelt sentiment:
- an email or note that is specific to that person or a small group, and no one else
- doubly effective if it is handwritten in your unique, one-of-a-kind, personal “font.”
- dropping by a colleague’s office or desk for a moment to express appreciation or offering to help with a problem
- calling on the phone rather than emailing or texting
- responding to their email or phone call in a timely manner
- raise your eyes from your screen (TV, computer, iPad, iPhone, gaming console, etc.) to actually look at the person talking to you
Making CONNECTION is not efficient. It takes time and effort. It is inconvenient.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou
Be a High-Trust Leader: take the time and make the effort to personally connect with your team and watch the window of trust open wider.