April 2020 – Shawn Hill

April 2020 – Shawn Hill

Shawn Hill, Supervisor – Fraud

Things at AT&T have always revolved around change.  With us facing the coronavirus, this has taken change to a much greater level.  While this will pass, there is no way of knowing what the new future will look like.  With that as a backdrop, it is now more important than ever to work to build relationships.

Here are 5 ways to build relationships in the age of change.

1. Be intentional.  Relationships will not happen just because we want them to happen.  We have to be intentional about building those relationships.  We have to set aside time every week to reaching out to people that we don’t know.  That could be people within our group or people in other groups.  One way to encourage this is to add this as a yearly goal.  There is something special about putting it down in writing.  Then put down the steps that you will take to make it happen.

2. Be patient.  Building relationships will take time.  The key is not getting frustrated because they do not happen as quickly as we would like.  Not everyone will be a match for everyone else.  Embrace the differences in others and value the quality of the relationship.  Only you can measure what is a successful relationship.  One good friend that you develop a good friendship with may be worth more than 100 strangers that you only meet one time.

3. Be creative.  Think outside the box.  Literally.  One great place to meet new people is on LinkedIn.  I know most people don’t think about this social networking site, but it is a great way to build relationships.  You get a chance to see a different, but still professional side of your connections.  That is just one idea.  Brainstorm other ways you can get to know people.  It could be a charity, sporting or cultural event.

4. Be consistent.  Building relationships is work.  No doubt about it.  It takes perseverance and commitment.  One of the ways to do this is keeping in touch with someone on a consistent basis.  This could be weekly or even bi-weekly.  Monthly may be too far between contacts, but you will be able to determine this.  Make sure to check in with the person.  Find out what is going on in their life and make sure to share what is going on in yours.  This should be natural and go both ways.  If it does not, keep trying until you find someone that is as interested in the friendship as you are.

5. Be grateful.  A true relationship is worth its weight in gold.  We don’t often appreciate them when times are good, but they really show up during the tough times.  When we face those times, it is often a true gift to have someone there for you.  You will be glad that you invested all the hours in building your friendship.

Today, it has become very easy to isolate and not network.  If you are working remotely, this is even easier.  What we have to do is fight against that tendency.  Not only will it make you a happier person, but it will also make AT&T a better company.  That is something we should all strive to achieve.