Identify someone at work who is credible and respected, at about the level of your job position, but with whom you have not communicated very much–maybe because you just haven’t felt enough of a connection to make the effort.
This week, purposely talk to that person for a few minutes. You can even tell him or her why you’re doing it: “I suddenly realized I rarely do more than nod or say hi, so I thought I’d stop for a minute.”
“Even though our jobs are different, we have some of the same customers, it seems like a good idea to do more than nod once a year!”
“The way things develop, we might be working together sometime, so I wanted to stop and say hello.”
“It seems like we hardly ever get a chance to do more than say hi, so while we have a few minutes I thought I’d better take advantage of the opportunity to see how work is going for you.”
You may find that one short conversation will last you (or them) for awhile! But, you may also discover someone who shares some of your values, seems interesting in general or who could be a good resource for you or someone else you work with, or you for them. It’s not calculated networking or aggressive friending, it’s purposeful out-reach.
You probably nod to a dozen people a day who you have never really gotten to know. They don’t know you either. Sometime in the next two or three days–don’t wait longer–make it a point to do more than nod.