An old supervisor of mine taught me about ‘having money in the bank’ with someone.
This is all about connecting with other professionals. When I go into an office on campus, I take the time to get to know the people in there. Instead of sending everything through campus mail, I’ll make an excuse to go to the office and talk with the people in person. Every time you connect with a person you put one coin in the bank. Then one day you need to cash it out. Maybe you need a favor or need to rush something through.
Technically some might view this as taking advantage of others; but what it really boils down to is that you’ve developed a quality relationship with them – so they are more willing to help you out with what you need. You’ve connected with them so they are willing to go the extra mile for you. You have money in the bank.
It’s interesting because there have been many times in my life when I have been really good at this – and others when I’ve been horrid at this. I think all of us go through ups and downs like this.
One time when I had to ‘re-learn’ this concept was when I was a teacher in the classroom. There is one student in particular who I was just not able to connect with. Being it that I taught at a boarding school, we spent lots of time with the students outside the classroom. I slowly realized that it was in this environment (outside the classroom) that I was going to connect with this student. So, I started really trying to invest time with him over the weekends and the like. Fast forward a few days and we’re back in the classroom. Lo and behold, look who is suddenly interested in what I was teaching!
So- where to go from here? Think about the people that you connect with. Realize that every connection is valuable and meaningful. Take the time to follow through (send the thank you notes) and you will slowly put money in the bank with other people.