No, that is not a question I asked after a recent bad date. That was the question posed to me after a former colleague introduced me to Rob, who had just moved to Denver and was looking to make connections.
Here’s the full scenario: I used to work with Sara. Her friend, Rob, had left the East Coast to move to Denver and was working his network to look for a job – as he should. As we all do. As I did when I made the decision to move to Colorado. However, when I was seeking connections and an introduction was made, I would immediately send a follow-up email, thanking the person for their willingness to talk with me, and asked them to let me know a convenient time to connect, as well as their preference for a face-to-face versus phone meeting.
When I received the request via email to be introduced to Rob, I will admit that I cringed. In the past few months, I have been inundated with requests to meet for coffee, hop on the phone, gab over wine, etc. Requests have come from new transplants, to people who were looking for a job, to people who were thinking about starting their own consulting business. I keep accepting these requests because so many kind people opened doors for me when I moved to Colorado. Plus, these are folks who have joined our community and our workforce and we need to keep our economy strong.
When I received the introductory email, I didn’t respond, as I felt that “the ball was in Rob’s court.” After a few days, he sent me an email: “I’m concerned that I haven’t heard from you. When are we going to get together?” I was a bit taken aback. I politely responded that I assumed he would follow up when he was ready and I suggested a few days/times when we could connect. That was a week ago, and I still haven’t heard from him…which is okay by me.
This has also happened a few times recently in work situations. When I am asking someone to share their time with me – whether it’s so that I can interview them about their program or bounce some ideas off of them – I can’t say “thank you” enough. Each of us gets to decide how we spend our time, which is one of the most valuable things over which we have control. I want that person – whom I am asking to do something for me – to know how grateful I am that they have made time for me. And when I make that time for others, I want to feel that same sense of gratitude. That attitude of gratitude will help to keep us all open to supporting one another, and it will pay off for ourselves as individuals and our community over the long-term.