Checking In

September 16, 2009

Another change of season.  And if you’re like me, these transitions can easily trigger wondering what everyone is up to.  Friends, colleagues, community, how to maintain the growing network of people in our lives.  How to manage it all.

The other day as I was taking the train into the city, I thought of at least 10 people I was meaning to e-mail.  I wished I could get internet service during my travels to get the messages out.  The thing is, when I do sit down and get internet service, I’m reminded of the 10 or so e-mails and I either get overwhelmed or move on to a task that is of higher priority.  You see, the e-mails are simply to say hi, or tell someone I am thinking about them, and curious how things are going.  Just a little check-in. 

But for some reason, these are the little things that slip past.  Then before I know it, there’s a bunch to catch-up on.  For me, this tends to happen more in the summer, as there seems to be more distractions – going out and about a bit more.  So, it takes some conscious effort on my part to come back on track when a season ends.  I like using the seasonal changes to signal this because it ensures that months don’t turn into years.  This way the growing pool of acquaintances and contacts are maintained, because the connection is meaningful, and they are fun and healthy to address.

So the other day when I got off the train I took some time before my next appointment to sit for a while in the sun and cool breeze.  I opened up my planner and I calmly thought about what my next weeks were going to look like.  Then, quicly jumping back into my head, were a bunch of the individual e-mails I was going to send.  Then I realized many of them were from the same network.  So I thought, why not, just send a group e-mail.  Just a quick update on some things that are going on with me, and an opportunity for me to ask about them.  Then I thought to take it another step further – to invite them all for a “Checking In” conference call for an hour next week.  I do teleconferences for clients, why not one for my network. 

Needless to say, I’ve already received a dozen responses and it looks to be a great way for everyone to re-connect.  Win/Win.  It has also prompted me to respond directly to some, whereas I may have put off the e-mail because I thought I had so much to say.  When really all I needed was to get the ball rolling again.  So, if you’re feeling stuck with the follow-ups or check-in e-mails, or overwhelmed that there are so many to send – get crafty.  Send a group e-mail with an update of where you’re at, or schedule a conference call to give everyone a chance to check in, and of course get active on your social networking sites.  

I understand, when you’re looking to maintain that individual connection, these ideas may not come up.  But if it’s the best means at the time, give it a try.  As I said, it will get things rolling.  And people will be happy to hear from you.  There’s a good chance they were thinking the same thing.

2 Responses to “Checking In”

  1. Ramona said

    How do I get access to the recording ” putting your strengths to work”

    • jamesgovernale said

      Hi Ramona, thanks for showing interest in “Putting Your Stengths to Work”
      If you click on the ‘Purchase’ tab at the top of the page, it will bring you to a page with a button link to, where you can download the recording. Let me know if you need further assistance! Best, James

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