The interplay of work and our not-so-personal lives becomes clear when we find ourselves in unexpected situations. Maybe we need a ride, someone to call when our child must stay home from school, or even a person to shovel the walk when we are on vacation.

While the benefits of professional networking have been widely studied, there is not a bounty of research or known statistics on trust, neighbors, and personal networks. Here are two Hubspot business networking statistics:

  • Eighty-five percent of jobs are filled through networking.
  • Nearly 100 percent of people say face-to-face meetings are essential for long-term business relationships.

PEW Research documented the decline of Americans spending time with their neighbors:

  • In 1974, 61 percent of Americans said they would spend a social evening with someone in their neighborhood at least once a month,
    while 39 percent said they would do so less than once a month or not at all.
  • In 2014, fewer than half (46 percent) said they spend social evenings with their neighbors at least monthly, compared with 54 percent who do not.

In the Denver area? Join us, Friday April 27 in Westminster.

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No Need to Connect, There’s an App For That

Just because we can set up an account for Lyft, have our groceries delivered, and automate many parts of our lives … doesn’t mean that’s an effective way of living. Type A personalities (ya, I’m holding up the mirror) like control – and we have the ability to control and access more information than ever before.

Our belief systems include deciding what is tradition, and also identifying what is most important among new experiences. The thing is, with a low awareness of such facts, we will also have a low awareness of the people who play a part in creating full and satisfying moments in our life.

Knowing we can solve it on our own can be a limiting viewpoint that impedes life fulfillment and our goals for personal success.

Effort of Relationship

Regardless of who is around us, when we keep to ourselves and always solve our own problems, we are alone. Humans are social creatures.

Relationship begins with a self-awareness. What we are good at, what skills do we have, and the way we respond to high-pressure situations are pieces on which we may reflect. Externally, knowing an overlapping body of knowledge or interest provides a way to have a conversation and find a connection.

We have different people in our lives who know about things we don’t, and who have interests in things we don’t. When we find ourselves in need of a particular kind of information (to solve a problem, to weigh possible outcomes, or to add context) the people we know will save us time and energy. Sure, we can do our own research … however, we may take more time and effort to get a full picture than sending a text, an email, or even making a call.

Bountiful Benefits of Personal Networks

With the world as much digital as not, the benefits of knowing our neighbors makes a difference. In our home, we have neighbors who a babysitter can call if we are unreachable. We have a specific meeting place with select neighbors in case of fire or smoke or some other reason we can’t be in the house; we have a floor we can crash on for a night. The flip side is true too – we have different neighbors who know we will do those things for them. And then, there is usefulness: we know our elders and help out when noticing a need; we can borrow a tool or ladder from neighbors, and visa versa.

Personal networks don’t have to be just local. We may have people in our lives for whom we drop everything and get on a plane. That is part of the personal network we’ve woven into our lives and rely upon … and are likewise relied upon by others.

What Can We Do to Power Up Our Personal Networks?

Have we developed relationships in such a way that we can make a Facebook post and our digital social networks will come to our aid? Another interesting question to consider: When we feel most on edge, trapped, vulnerable – who do we know who has our back? For who have we decided we will rearrange whatever is going our lives?

Can we ask for help?

Can we offer help, unsolicited?

Answer these questions along with us.

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