OrganizeI don’t know about your business, but my consulting and speaking work slows down twice a year: midyear around July and during the second half of December around the Christmas holiday.

I use these slow times for introspection, focusing on what is going well in my business and how I can raise the bar on my client engagements, thought leadership, and personal development.

I also take the time to physically print out the list of my most relevant relationships—my own relationship bank—in search of highly influential net-new relationships I’ve developed, identifying which ones I intentionally invested in and which ones I unfortunately neglected. This process helps me think about and prioritize my relationship investments for the next six months. I make an A-B-C list of no more than 10 relationships in each category and commit to getting caught up live and, in the process, finding a way to add value to their efforts.

Those relationships that I’ve invested in but unfortunately have not seen gratitude, reciprocity, or an innate sense of paying it forward simply get deprioritized. I simply am not willing to continue to give valuable time, knowledge, talent, or access to my portfolio of relationships to those who either don’t get it or are unwilling to equally invest in creating value in our relationship.

To learn more, read the revised and updated Relationship Economics paperback edition with 40 percent new content, including an all-new chapter 10 on social media and business relationships (Wiley, Feb. 2011).

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