Duffy: Connecting in today’s world

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 5:30 a.m.CDT

With the role that technology plays in today’s business community, it made me think about what getting connected means in today’s world.

With regards to technology, getting connected used to involve wires and cords. Now, the focus is on being wireless, portable and accessible.

The business world is shifting in a similar manner from traveling to be face to face in front of the prospective and current clients to the convenience of web conferencing and emails to communicate with our “connections.”

The use of social media outlets has replaced some group communication and is almost to the point of requiring the use of a smart phone. It’s gotten to the point where a simple post on Facebook has replaced the birthday card. I’m someone who believed that I was not as caught up in this as most. The truth is that I’m just rationalizing my use of these communications with business and community members.

At a recent event, I talked with a business contact whom I know … or at least I thought I did. We’ve spoken on the phone and emailed multiple times, however, this was the first time that we had actually met face to face although we’ve “known each other” for almost a year. Until I saw their name tag I didn’t know who this person was.

Connecting with others is more than just knowing what they ate for dinner or whether they like a photo. Being a person that they are comfortable working with or buying something from is a trait that there is not an app for on any device you can buy.

However, using technology and social media to better service a client, be better informed about a person, or to help educate you on today’s latest and greatest is a resource that people need in today’s world. The combination of meeting in person and online education and communication is what will help you accomplish your goals.

I’m not trying to downplay the relevance or success of using technology to connect with people. My point is simply to not forget about and to understand the importance of meeting people in person to help make that connection stronger.

The chamber offers a number of opportunities to connect with business and community members in person and online. Be sure to use these resources to build strong, long lasting connections with current and potential clients, leaders and resources who can help take your organization (or personally) to where you want to go.

Check out the list of upcoming events by visiting www.dekalb.org, calling 815-756-6306, or following us through Facebook or Twitter. This is just another way to link social media with meeting in person.

I hope to see you at an upcoming event to look you in the eyes, shake your hand and connect with you while helping you connect with others through the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce.

• Matt Duffy is executive director of the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce.

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