Mixing online, personal connections best way to go

Posted on Apr 5, 2010 :: Insight on Business, Web Exclusive.
Posted by of Insight Publications

How many “friends” do you have on Facebook? What about the number of Twitter followers? Whether you have 10 or 1,000, those numbers don’t really tell the story of how well you are connected to other people.

“People can be connected online in so many ways, but still feel isolated,” says Steve Proudman, owner and president of The Proundman Group and a partner with the Kohler Experimental Learning Center.

Proudman shared his view on the importance of connections during a seminar at Leaderfest 2010, which was held last Thursday at the Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan. Through a series of exercises – attendees rarely had a chance to sit down during the two-hour gathering —  he shared the importance of how people connect to each other and what people of any age can do to make those connections have an impact.

“It’s all about being interconnected and those relationships are the key to business success,” says Proudman, adding he uses his own connections and word-of-mouth to add new customers at his consulting firm.

“I try to get people to imagine themselves in different situations and how they would connect. Today – through all these exercises whether we divided up by hair color, profession or played a couple of goofy games – you really got to meet a lot of other people and it’s in a safe environment and a lot more fun than a typical networking session,” he says.

That it was. I came away with a new respect for those in-person connections rather than just seeking out more people to follow on Twitter. That’s not to say being on Twitter and other social media isn’t important, but there needs to be a careful blending of in-person and online networking.

–By MaryBeth Matzek