I wanted to share with you something interesting I learned about one of my now-former colleagues. I’m still astonished!
Yesterday was just like any other day with the exception that it was the last day for one of my colleagues. He has decided to go back to school to pursue his MBA. Before leaving for his exit interview, a few of us stopped him to say goodbye and we wanted to learn a little bit more about his future short term plans.
Let me give you a little background on my historical interaction with this person:
- This colleague is unbelievably intelligent!
- He is a very nice and quiet person, he was definitely an observer
- Is straight to the point
- He rarely left his side of the suite to come ask a question in person, he would instead send an email
If he could answer a question with just a simple “yes” or “no” response, he would. Not that there is anything wrong with that but usually most people I’ve encountered would go into detail with why the answer is a “yes” or “no” but that’s besides the point. I wasn’t able to make a good and genuine connection during my time working with him.
Back to the story, so my colleague was talking about his potential options he may have try to pursue when another colleague asks if he was going to continue to dance. HE WAS A BALLROOM DANCER!
This was the one genuine thing, that I now know of, that we have in common! I’m a dancer and I’ve been wanting to learn all the ballroom dances. He mentioned that he hasn’t been dancing as much lately but stated that the university he was attending has a ballroom dancing program. I hope he continues to dance but that could have been my chance not only to possibly had an instructor (I’m still looking for classes in Eastern NC) but to connect with this co-worker outside of our work responsibilities.
I can speak with other colleagues about their families and such but this particular co-worker lived alone with his nearest family being hours away. He always stayed to himself and he never really tried to reach out to me personally so I never wanted to take up too much of his time. I’ve never even dared to ask about his personal life other than if he do anything special over the weekend. By the way let me state that I never got the impression that I had ever bothered my colleague. I just know what it means to be a quiet person. I really respect him especially with what and how he has chosen to share with other colleagues.
Moral of the story: Do your best to network and CONNECT. Try your hardest to genuinely get to know others while you still have the time. If you have your own encounter with a reserved-mannered person like I did with my colleague, don’t let that stop you from trying to get to know that person. I’m sure the person you’re trying to get to know will let you know, in their own way, if you’re bothering him. While I’m still connected with the colleague on Linkedin, it saddens my heart to know that I may never get to see him in person again. Can’t wait to see what God has in store for him in the coming years.
Have you had a challenge connecting with people? Tell me more, comment and share your thoughts!