Staying in Touch: The Key to Maintaining Your Professional Relationships

An attorney’s world is always spinning.  Between work, family commitments and personal time, it seems that there is no time left to foster professional connections.  Keeping up relationships is an important aspect of your career that demonstrates a high degree of professionalism.

You may have questions about how to keep up with colleagues while balancing a busy schedule.  Below are some tips to help you strategize and prioritize:

Schedule time into your calendar to send emails, make calls or connect through social media.  If you schedule time in advance, you are more likely to follow through.  Be honest with yourself about when you are most likely to have time for outreach.  When you are reaching out, think about how your professional connections prefer to be contacted.  Is he someone you talk with on the phone?  Is she someone who prefers a quick email?  Does he like when you comment on his blog or Facebook page?  If you contact someone through the medium they prefer, they are more likely to respond.

Share news or relevant articles.  When you find professional articles on LinkedIn, through industry blogs or in bar association newsletters, consider sharing them. When you share information that is relevant to your colleagues, they appreciate the time you took to help them professionally.  They also appreciate that you thought of them and are more likely to return the gesture.

Send a congratulatory card or email.  If one of your colleagues lands a new job, makes partner at her firm, or receives an award, send a congratulatory card!  Nothing feels better than being acknowledged for your hard work.  Often, when you follow colleagues through social media channels, you will hear about these exciting events in their lives.  You may also learn about their accomplishments through professional contacts you have in common.  No matter how you learn about your colleagues’ successes, make sure to send your well wishes.

Plan to attend an event together.  Have you ever scheduled a lunch with a contact only to cancel or reschedule for a later date?  Avoid this problem by planning to attend a reception or networking event together.  Many of these functions are after work, making them a bit easier to attend.  When you attend an event, make it a point to make new contacts and connections as well!