Hello, it’s Me (and other simple phrases)
Posted on October 24, 2017
One of the things I’ve found really refreshing when I transitioned into my new role is the empowering ability to reach out to my former colleagues. Not to say I wasn’t connected with them, I was. LinkedIn was always there to update me on who recently had a job change and who to congratulate on a work anniversary, I’m even friends with some of them on Facebook. I’ve worked with a bunch of really stand-up professionals and enjoyed working with them but haven’t had the time to properly say, “Hello! How are you? What have you been up to? I genuinely care and want to know!” Life gets busy. We always intend to stay in touch and then never do.
I recently attended TribalScale’s TakeOver Innovation Conference and sat in some extremely interesting, thought-provoking and inspiring Lighting Talks. In particular, I listened to Jodi Kovitz speak about the power of ‘Just Say Hello.’ She described how a simple Hello opened up opportunities for her and helped carve a path to her professional and personal endeavours. She encourages all of us to say, “Hello,” and watch its power create a ripple effect in our daily interactions and change our lives forever. Sounds pretty ambitious, right? Maybe, but that’s only if you’re expecting your next interaction with the person on the subway to be your golden ticket to winning the lottery. That being said, Jodi’s mantra to say hello carries A LOT of weight in business…and life.
Kate Edwards knows; she wrote a book entitled, Hello! And Every Little Thing That Matters. Kate’s book describes ways in which reaching out with a greeting can differentiate your business and lift your team’s spirits. And who can forget when Oprah began her #justsayhello movement a few years ago. She and Sanjay Gupta, MD, teamed up to encourage the nation to connect to combat loneliness. A mother-daughter duo are making a difference through their Just Say Hello Tour to support Facing Homelessness, a non-profit organization in Washington working to build awareness about our relationship to poverty and to each other. The stories go on and on and all lead to the same conclusion: Just Say Hello.
After hearing Jodi speak a couple of weeks ago, I was inspired to reach out, re-connect, despite how long it’s been, with genuine sincerity. And I did. I reached out to those I haven’t seen or spoken to in several years but played a part in my professional journey. I reached out to those whom I remembered but who may no longer remember me. And of course, I reached out to those I’ve worked with more recently.
The outcome has been fantastic. My Hello was, in turn, reciprocated with, “How are you?” “Wow! I’m so glad to hear from you!” “What have you been up to?” Colleagues re-connecting, after years of being disconnected (despite LinkedIn’s reminders). And these greetings I’ve been sending have translated into further touch base emails, catch up lunches and opportunities. So simple, yet so powerful. Like Jodi, I encourage you to reach out and extend your hellos. If you’re having trouble finding a way to say it, there’s a Pinterest page dedicated to the many ways to do it. If that doesn’t help, I’m sure these furry friends will help inspire you. Hello, it’s me saying hello to all of you!
–Patricia Whitney, VP, Recruitment Services