One of the easiest ways to boost your relationships, whether it may be with a friend, family member, colleague, etc., is to keep in touch. This may seem like a simple act with minimal effect, but it will truly enhance any of your relationships from those with whom you are the closest to casual acquaintances.
One of our FMPR Scholars has kept in touch with us regularly for years. We ask each of our recipients to send us an update of their schooling at the end of the year that they received our award. So they are only required to contact us once. This didn’t stop this one particular Scholar from keeping in touch after every semester as she pursued her degree. We loved receiving the letters from her. Her mom would also email us updates and photos from time to time. When they wrote, they would always express gratitude for our scholarship. Because we developed a relationship with her and her mother over the years as they continued to reach out to us, we decided to award her with an additional scholarship. This individual has become so special to us, and we’ll do whatever we we can to help her succeed. Our feelings for her were cultivated through her constant communication with us.
In business, keeping in touch with vendors, associates, former bosses, etc., can lead to advancement or increased revenues. We see it all the time. We consistently refer vendors, who do great work and stay in touch with us, to potential customers. Vice versa, those who we are in regular contact with often send business our way. Companies that we love to patron are those who keep in contact with us via social media or emails.
With the people whom you are closest with, keeping in touch may mean sending a brief text or email to say hello, wish them luck on a big project, or to ask them out for lunch. Taking the time out of your day to let the most important people in your life know that you’re thinking about them will make them feel wonderful. Thus, they’ll treat you with the same regard, which will enhance your relationship. Just think about how you feel when you’re significant other or child sends you a text to check in or to say “hi” or “I love you.” It definitely uplifts any mood. A handwritten love note or phone call simply to chat are other ways to stay connected. Taking time out to visit with loved ones, especially to those who are homebound or elderly, is another thoughtful way to keep in touch.
When staying in touch with those whom we are more casual friends, an email to ask them to coffee to catch up or a brief text when something happens that makes you think of them, such as congratulating them on a promotion that you heard about through the grapevine, helps to keep relationships alive and well.
Keeping in touch is also about being good about responding. If anyone should reach out to you to check in, please be sure to respond, even if they don’t ask for a response. When the sender of any communication, text, private message, voice mail, etc., doesn’t receive a response, they are left to guess why they didn’t hear back. Was it because you didn’t receive their message? Did you not like their message? Even in instances such as receiving a Christmas card, you may feel as though you were one in large number of people who received the card and there’s no need to respond. Yet, letting the other party know that you were happy and grateful to receive the card is delightful to the sender. Sometimes we forget to respond to people in a timely manner because we don’t have the answer to a question they have asked. In these cases, reply immediately and let them know that you will respond once you have the answer. Response provides acknowledgement of receiving the message and an indication of how you feel about the message. Plus, it shows respect and that you want to keep the lines of communication open and flowing.
Taking the time to reach out to others doesn’t have to take up much time. It may just be sending a quick text message or dropping off some fruits to your neighbor. The effect is in the action, which communicates interest and care, and is an excellent boost for any relationship.