All relationships are built on two things: frequency and proximity. It’s obvious, in hindsight. If you consider the strongest relationships in your life, you’ll find these two elements feature strongly.
Frequency – how often you interact
Proximity – how physically close you are
Your relationship becomes tighter the more frequently you interact and the closer you are physically. Your partner – you share a bed with. Your family – you see each other every day and live in the same house. Colleagues and classmates – we often become close only because there is frequency and proximity. You’ll notice that when there is increased frequency and proximity of interactions with certain people in your life, your relationship with them suddenly deepens.
Now think about some of the people you used to be close to and how your relationship changed after they moved away or you saw them less frequently.
Here’s why it matters. When you’re aware of how this impacts relationships, you can hack it. You can actively manage it to improve the relationship. Especially during times like these, when working from home has become the new COVID-normal. The key trick is this: if you lose proximity, then you have to upweight frequency as an offset. Likewise, there is a really big impact when you’re trying to connect with people whom you don’t see or speak with frequently. It’s why we so often fly across the country to meet business partners when we really could have a just picked up the phone or connected on Zoom.
This principle applies to business too. If you want to have a better relationship with your industry or the latest technology influencing it, then you need to engage with it frequently. Do it daily. Better still, get close to it by being hands on – increase your proximity to the tools. You’ll end up improving your relationships with what’s happening and what’s next.
Oh and before I forget, the reverse is true for bad relationships you’d rather not be in – stay far away and don’t engage.
Do this and you’ll be the one with powerful relationships that make both your life and your career better.
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