Reaching out is vital

Saying hi in line at the grocery store. Smiling (warmly). Introducing yourself. Asking someone how their day is going (and meaning it). Asking someone if you can sit with them. Inquisitively asking someone what they think. Noticing what someone is wearing. Inviting someone to join you.

It might startle them a bit. And it might feel a little risky to you. It might make you feel vulnerable. It immediately takes everyone involved out of their comfort zone. It takes energy. Seth Godin calls it "emotional labor" in his book Linchpin. It is not easy. That is why so few people do it. And you have to care. But keep doing it; it is so important.

There so many people that are on the fringe. They are on the outside looking in and waiting for an invitation to be part of what is going on. Reaching out says, "Come on in the water is fine."

Or... someone has walled him or herself off in the perceived safety her/his own little world. Reaching out says, "I see you; you can't hide from me. We need you out here. Come out and play."

What is the worst that can happen? They might ignore you. They might even tell you to mind your own business. Sometimes it is awkward. But don't take it as a rejection. It is about them. You did your job. You reached out. You engaged them. You invited them.

Some would argue reaching out is intrusive. It is your intention that buffers it from intrusiveness. If your intention is to engage them so you can see what is there- it is pure. Risk intruding. Rock their world a bit.

Go go ahead, reach out. Somebody has to. There is a whole world out here to be interacting in.

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Imh wrote:
Jim,Always good to read your posts. Glad that you are able to do it consistently again and I hope all is well in your house these days. I have been bniowlg through a few books of late, thought I would share my recent reads:Crush It! Gary Vaynerchuk inspirational read that helps ground you to think about what are your passions and how to you make your passion your life. Also a quick read and perfect between some longer ones if for no other reason than to know you can still knock out a book in a day or two.Socialnomics Erik Qualman helps put a value on social media. I like the fact that it does not need to be read cover to cover find what areas of social are needed for you, and find your chapter/story. The recap at the end of each chapter is nice too, like those old text books in highschool and college.Groundswell Li & Bernoff I am only a little over halfway through this book. And while it is dated and the data is dated the objectives and strategies it sets forth are timeless. It doesn't matter which platform is on top when you read it. It helps define why a company should get into social media and what types of communication are best for particular problems . Of all I have read, this one, so far, is the most insightful.I am trying to position Energizer properly in the social media world. Do you have any other recommended reads for that?Serge

Sat, March 17, 2012 @ 9:10 AM

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