When I think of cultivating community, I think of the many important communities with whom I share my love, expertise and attention.
First, there is my personal community with my family and friends who mean the world to me. Second, there is my work community with leaders and co-workers who come together around a common vision and who enhance my life greatly. Then, there is my community of clients and customers that my team and I serve and honor. In addition, there are my neighbors, fellow business owners and community leaders with whom I have caring relationships. And don’t overlook another community: our online community. Social media has expanded our reach into the world more than I ever imagined.
Yes, I am very interested in the success of each of these important communities. Some of them cross over into both personal and business areas of my life. In my town, we have special annual events that bring us face-to-face to break bread and to discuss current trends. It is casual, yet valuable time together that takes an investment of energy, which usually sparks valuable ideas and support.
The secret to having a meaningful connection is being truly interested. When I met the “Most Interesting Man in the World” at a speech at Harvard University last year, I asked him what made him so interesting. He responded, “By being interested!” I took that comment to heart and became more interested in people. Now, I ask more questions and continue to learn more about the people around me.
Yes, I am reaping the benefits as I connect more with my community. I share more happiness and receive more kindness. I get to connect with people at a deeper level. This is a valuable gift. Connection matters more than anything and connecting with people brings happiness!
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