Besides struggling to find the right balance between work and our personal lives, big changes like relocation, career transitions, or personal challenges can really take up most of our time. With so many things to juggle, inevitably in the shuffle many of us lose touch with a few people in our lives. A moment of lapse may have stretched into months or even years. While reestablishing that connection can be difficult, it's not impossible. Here are four things you can do to make reconnecting with your network a little easier.
Check in with mutual friends, browse through social media, and do a quick google search. Although it’s impossible to fill in all the details and make up for everything that you missed, it's always a good idea to approach with some knowledge. After all, you don't want to dive right in and touch on a sensitive topic that will make things awkward or come across as inconsiderate.
How well did you know the person? This could make a difference in how you connect, whether through a phone call, text message, email, chat, or social media. Balance what options are available to you, what you find comfortable, and what the other individual may prefer. If possible, try to meet in person. A face to face meeting will allow you to build a stronger and more memorable connection. After getting in touch, make sure to confirm a preferred method of contact between the both of you.
Breaking the ice after a considerable time lapse can be awkward. For some, a sudden popup message from an old friend can do the trick, but is not always the best option for a professional contact. No matter how well acquainted you once were, it’s important to be polite and honest in your approach. Give a reminder of how you are connected and don’t take it personally if you have to further explain. You can also reach out to celebrate a milestone, career accomplishment, achievement, anniversary, and more. Build on common points of interests or how you both are connected to a mutual friend. If you’re reaching out through social media, start with boosting your online activity. Like, share, and comment on their posts and interact naturally before sending a private message.
Make it a habit and be consistent in your interactions. Don't drop off again; that could make reconnecting more difficult the next time around. Once you've reintroduced a person into your circle, keep up to date or stay occasionally in touch. This doesn't necessarily require weekly check-in's, chats, and meetings. You can demonstrate that you are still present with gestures like sending seasonal greeting cards, sharing articles or industry news you found interesting, reaching out to ask for advice or opinions, and more.
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