“Networking Through the Ages”

February 2015

NetworkingI was at a Business Breakfast last week discussing social media with a well known local lawyer who explained that there was no chance that he would be “tweeting” any time soon.  And in truth, I am not an early adopter of technology myself.  Indeed, it is quite surprising to find myself writing a blog.

Although I am on LinkedIn, I have failed so far to be seduced by the apparent attraction of Facebook and I too have yet to make an appearance on Twitter.  This is partly due to attending an internet marketing seminar a few years ago that far from encouraging me to embrace social media convinced me that it is a scary world out there that needs treating with caution.

Anyway, back to “networking” by real people.  I have observed over the years that my generation have much to learn from the older generation.  For sheer skill at networking, it is hard to beat a room full of our residents.  We hold regular lunches for prospective independent living residents where they can meet existing residents and find out what living in a retirement village is really all about. In fact, we are holding one this week.

We have found that it helps people considering moving to Middleton Hall to make their decision in an informed manner and makes it easier when they subsequently move in, as they already know people.

And our residents are particularly skilled at getting to know people.  Seating people together at such events almost invariably results in people finding connections with each other – their daughters went to the same school or they worked for the same company or they both have been trekking in Nepal and eaten in the same restaurant in Kathmandu.

It always turns out to be a small world when you get talking.  People in the older generation are very good at making it a smaller world through their ability to really get to know someone.

It makes me wonder how skilled my generation and those of our children will be at getting to know people face to face in the future when so much of our conversation is conducted by text, email or Facebook.

An area where we could perhaps learn from those older… and wiser.

Maybe my lawyer friend has a point.