Where did it all begin? I was invited to speak at a business conference on the subject of ‘networking’. I don’t know what you think when you hear that word but my insides cringe and crawl. I thanked the conference organiser for their kind invitation, and said that I couldn’t accept because I hate networking. I went on to explain that I find networking contrived and manipulative, but what I did believe in was building authentic, long term and high trust relationships. The conference organiser immediately asked me if I would speak on that subject.
I didn’t want to become known as the ‘anti-networking guy’, so began to consider what I would call my approach. I reflected on the fact that relationships are a science, because we can all learn to do them better, but they are also an art form, as they take a lifetime to master.
Then a word came to me ‘Relationology’ so I searched for it on the Internet but couldn’t find it so I set up the company, registered the trademark, purchased the web domain and that’s where Relationology began.
The origins actually go back further than that. When I was growing up I remember our family was not very sociable. On one occasion only was I allowed a friend home from school to play. On several other occasions I can remember the door bell ringing, my dad putting the television on mute and ushering my mum, sister and I to hide behind the sofa and pretend no-one was home. Later I realised that wasn’t normal family behaviour but it has made me extra passionate about people and relationships.
Now as I look back through my life so far and all the amazing things that have happened to me I can name a person that made each thing possible.
My first job, my first business, my first book, my first keynote speech, my first blue chip client, my first million pounds for charity… each of them was made possible by someone I had a relationship with.
So I’m passionate about relationships and helping others build the relationships that will help them achieve life happiness, social impact and vocational success. I spend time every day investing in relationships.
One magazine has even said, “When Malcolm Gladwell sat at his typewriter and wrote the chapter on connectors in The Tipping Point, he must have just finished a slap-up lunch with Matt Bird.”
Recent research has shown that the main reason people go to conferences and events is to meet people however they don’t always find it as easy as they would like.
So, I’m launching a Relationology App to help people build authentic relationships before, during and after events.
The App helps you create your own profile, search the profiles of other attendees, find out if you know anyone else attending and receive three suggestions of people you might like to meet.
During the conference you can have all the event details on your smart phone as well as be able to scan other peoples phones to swap details and never be caught out without a business card again. After the event you can ‘traffic light’ those people you met deciding who you want to keep in contact with (green) and those you don’t (red), set follow up actions for those you want to remain connected with and import the contacts to your data base.
The quality of your relationships determines your life happiness, social impact and vocational success.
What are you doing to invest in your relationships? What old friend could you reconnect with today? What new friend could you reach out to today? What could you do to meet someone new today? Relationships are the true currency of life and work.