CareerSherpas: Climbing the Mountain

When you’re on the way, it helps to share the load

Archive for September, 2009

Just Show Up – And Follow Up!

Friday, September 11th, 2009

A common saying in productivity and success writing circles is “Just show up”. This wonderfully uplifting concept presses the point that by arriving, engaging and being where an action happens, the action will happen.

There is plenty of support for this assertion, but sometimes we need to grapple with the idea that someone else might also need to show up for something to happen. So what then?

The answer for me is an easy one: Follow up!

Any time you make a connection with someone you need to follow up. This simple act strengthens your connection, reinforcing that the meeting (and the other person’s time) was valuable to you. Whether it be thanking the person for their time, giving promised information or sharing a thought that occurred to you after you left, your consideration shows that you’re still engaged and ready to reconnect or work together whatever the future holds.

Similarly if you have a missed connection where the other person did not show up, it is important to reinforce that the meeting was important to you and that you value their time. If a meeting happened without someone, following up gives you a chance to re-engage the person and build a rapport. You can also share teasers to build up expectations for the next opportunity to meet. If you were going to be presenting information or offerings it’s easy to send the bulleted high points covered and either the information on the next presentation or the option of asking questions.

The art of the follow up takes a bit of getting used to to make it a natural step, but it’s worth the effort and lets you make a case or build a stronger relationship.

So get out there! Show up – and follow up!

Peter Fitzgerald is the founder of CareerSherpas.com and is currently working on his first book, conducting high-level business analysis, connecting individuals with ideas and opportunities, and attempting to learn the bagpipes.