Wednesday, December 2, 2009

People Connecter Series: Taking Notes to Build Stronger Relationships

In the article entitled, "Social Networking: People Collector or People Connector?" I introduced tips on how to become a people connector. Remember, a people connector is an "individual that seek[s] to serve and help others by employing their resources."

With sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, we are constantly expanding our human network. In a new series focused on developing people connectors, I will offer some ideas on how to develop and maintain relationships in an effort to help others.

Profile Notes
During my short stint with Amway, I learned much about maintaining relationships. Not that I have ever been incredibly good at this, I do recognize its value. One of the lessons involved taking notes on people.

How it Works
The idea is to record important details about a person immediately following our encounter. Assuming someone is new to me, I would notate as many facts that I can remember from our initial conversation/introduction. I could use a napkin, business card, or receipt from my wallet, to capture vital information. In the future, these bullet points will help to remind me who this person is and why they are important.

Once I get back to my computer or hand-held device, I will transfer all the information off the business card into Google Contacts. I chose Google Contacts because it is free, works well with Gmail, and is accessible through my Blackberry. The best contact management tool is one you have access to.

What Should I Record?
Notes on your personal and business contacts can include facts like birthdays, anniversaries, names of parents, spouse, and children, interests, gift ideas, skills, and weaknesses. The number of things you can add to notes is limitless. The idea is not to amass information for the sake of information, but rather to be a blessing to others. By keeping updated records on people, you are empowered to aid others through opening doors, making introductions, and offering opportunities one would not otherwise have.

Let's Talk
How do you keep track of information on friends, family, business associates, clients, customers, and colleagues? If you could change one thing about your current solution, what would it be? Why is note taking important to you? What kinds of things do you record?

Image via Life Design Strategies

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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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