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Circle of Friends

This past weekend, my mother-in-law was here visiting from Texas. One evening she was on her cell phone with a friend back home. She was really laughing and carrying on. When she hung up the phone she said in that wonderful southern accent, “I love having such an incredible circle of friends.”

 A circle of friends is entirely different than simply having lots of friends. With a circle of friends not everyone has to be present for the relationships to grow. Someone could leave the group for a short period of time and the circle continues to expand. And with a circle of friends I would argue that it’s easier to bring new faces and personalities into the group with less disruption.

 In an excerpt from his new book Whose Got Your Back, entrepreneur and relationship expert Keith Ferrazzi talks about a few ways to multi-task your relationship building activity.3178543285_687ae73aa5

“No time” is what people tell me all the time when I tell them they need to get serious about creating more and deeper relationships. “I have enough trouble keeping my wife/kids/boss/houseplants happy. Now you want me to make the list longer?”

YES! Here’s how to make it happen, for all you busy (whiny!) high-powered professionals.

1.    Prioritize. Once you recognize that relationships are to success as food is to survival, you’d be surprised how much easier it gets to find time for them.

2.    Blend not balance. Tired of feeling work is crowding out your personal life? Blend them by recognizing that every single one of your business relationships could also be personal relationships.

3.     Stop compartmentalizing. Don’t be afraid to mix your friends up. Say, for example, you’re in New York for only a night. Instead of playing eeny-meeny-miny-mo to decide which of your contacts to meet, have a dinner and invite them all! Don’t worry too much if they’re from different worlds – a little shake-up from new people and new perspectives is good for everyone!

4.    Get more out of meetings. So many of us waste so much of the relationship time we do set aside by smothering ourselves with small talk. Take steps to build closer relationships faster – talk about your passions, be candid, let people know how you really feel. (Remember the Eight Steps to Instant Intimacy from Who’s Got Your Back!)

 (By the way, one way to get the ice broken quickly in one of your laborious meetings is to use Mitch Matthews’s game, Q).

So stop collecting business cards and start making more friends. And as you make more friends, introduce them to one another. You’ll be floored by what happens next. Oh, and watch out…it’s like a boomerang. It will come back to you.

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