Follow Up and Follow Through are partners in providing you the momentum and fruitfulness that connectivity has to offer.
Said another way, one without the other falls short. Dang. Let’s not let that happen. The good news is that it’s completely within your control to not let that happen – to create and develop the meaningful relationships in your life that make life grand.
Follow up is the first twin.
Follow up is the immediate subsequent activity of new relationships, following all the previous 5 Elements. As I state in the Canon, follow up is the affirmation and expression of appreciation as well as a recognition of possible future connections.
What can you do to follow up?
- Handwritten note, postcard and letter, sent through the postal service
- Phone call, thanking the person for their time and the (assumed) invigorating and pleasurable connection
- Goodies. We all love goodies. If you’ve discovered something by this stage that makes the other person happy, give them a small follow up gift of that thing.
- Extend your active support to their endeavors. Find out specifically what they’re up to and how you can precisely help.
Enter Twin 2: Follow Through.
These follow up tactics – actions – then lead us to Follow Through.
Follow through is the biggest opportunity we have for changing the world with our connectivity.
It’s where possibilities live, propelled with the sauce of intention. You have to be intentional about your connecting endeavors for them to be genuine. And for them to, so to speak, ‘work.’
Incidence and accidental activity isn’t connectivity; it’s luck.
Connectivity is planned, hence the follow through has to be part of your plan in order to happen.
Follow Through is the long-term care and maintenance of relationships.
Follow Through is also the biggest area of unnecessary neglect as well. Tell me if this is familiar.
You attend a networking event and gather a bunch of business cards. You go home, with good intentions, put the cards on a shelf or in a drawer and walk away.
No wonder nothing happened with the really cool person you talked with. No wonder the funding or patron or new client didn’t materialize. You forgot to prioritize Follow Through.
If so, know this:
1. Follow Up & Follow Through actions are indications that you’ve internalized a connectors mindset. You make it a habit, a routine, a ritual to ensure the communication from your interactions, both new and ongoing, are properly attended to.
2. You get to decide what the rhythm of your relationships is to be. Whatever the frequency and style and locale are all up to you, as you wish to develop the relationship you’ve created. Give your self the chutzpah and grace to put forth the energy required to build the various kinds of connections you determine you want.
No beating yourself up here, either, with ‘shoulds’ and have-tos’ – those are for networkers, not connectors. Guilt has no place in connectivity, so flick that little demon off your shoulder and kiss it goodbye!
3. At a minimum, take those business cards and send a short thank you, of whatever sort can work, whenever you find the lost cards. Seriously – even if it’s months later. It’s so refreshing to have people own up to having dropped the proverbial ball. To remember them, make the call anyway, and let them know you *still* enjoyed meeting them and you’re available to support their work can shift the tides. To totally ignore the found stash and to feel guilty about it is a waste of energy and time. Own it, call and keep moving.
By the way, often if this happens, you’ll both have a chuckle – it’s such a sign of our humanity (forgetting) that relates to all of us. Humble recognition of an innocent gaff is pretty easily forgivable if you take responsibility.
Connectors need to be fully aware of and actively practice both Follow Up and Follow Through. As the final two Elements of Connectivity, they are the long view of what meaningful relationships are in our lives, for every purpose.
Want all the Elements in one place?
Get your own copy of the Connectivity Canon, here, now. There’s a lot more shared, including the chapter on Permission Slips, which are almost never talked about: letting relationships go, cleaning house of the ones that aren’t positive or healthy or fruitful.
Join us for the Art of Connecting Summit, coming right up too November 1st. You’ll get all this and loads more useful insights, tactics and tools on how to connect on purpose with other people, successfully.
Read the full series here