Unfolding the Future


Build contacts with minimum contact

Whether you are an introvert or a social butterfly,
what the world needs now is more love to go around

By Peter Yeo

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from getting locked in, it is this: People crave interaction. From watercooler chats at the office to hi-tea with the ladies, and even brunch with the boss—we miss the synergy with our fellow man. Even before the pandemic, numerous studies have been published on the social needs of humans.

People are ultra-social creatures and covet connections with others, noted Dr Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas, Science Director of the Greater Good Science Center (UCLA) in a 2018 report. Losing that social support may lead to unhappiness, she added. Sharing the sentiment, a Straits Times article cautioned that ‘prolonged circuit breaker measures could have an impact on mental health’.

As society stirs back to life, how can you increase influence with your employees, expand social circles or, perhaps, even kickstart that personal project or philanthropic journey you have been planning ‘forever’? This is your opportunity to open hearts and doors.
Open the friend zone
Expanding your social circle is as easy as opening your social media. Check on your friends on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. Deliveroo a pick-me-up drink to a friend who is feeling down or private chat them. It lets them know you are thinking of them. Better yet, start a Facebook or Whatsapp support group for people who may be feeling the strain of the moment. Get your contacts to add their contacts to make some new friends.

Launch a satellite party
The relaxation of lockdowns around the world is a cause for celebration but you still want to exercise caution. In Singapore, gatherings of up to five are allowed. Amplify your zoom parties with satellite venues so you get the benefit of personal touch while safe distancing. Trust us, these groups will surely remember the host of these satellite parties.

Throw a cook/bake-off
Use the down time to connect with your old friends and build acquaintances. Flushed with online recipes, we’ve all become a Gordon Ramsay or Martha Stewart. Don’t just share your new-found culinary prowess with your family. Organise a cook/bake-off with your friends by delivering your specialties to them. You can even throw a friendly competition and vote for the flavour of the week.
Moment of charity
A sad victim of the pandemic are charity organisations. As people tighten their belts, more charities are closing. Organisations are also affected by the lack of fundraising opportunities. This is the time to start your philanthropic journey. Throw a fundraiser among your friends and make space in your wardrobe for the fall/winter collection at the same time by holding an online auction with proceeds going to the less fortunate.

Do a good job
Do take time for yourself. Spruce up your resume—even if you are not looking for a job. It is all about keeping yourself updated. LinkedIn is also a good social network to reach out to your professional network (hello, ex-boss!) to commiserate or just to check in on them.

This is an opportune time to publish professional posts on LinkedIn; it will establish your expertise in your community. You may even find out something surprising about yourself when you put your thoughts to paper. Extend your contact by reaching out to people in your industry or even connecting with your competitor’s clients. It does not matter if it does not translate to something tangible immediately. Your personal brand will benefit from the exposure.

Extending contacts need not be a personal pursuit. Remember: Top-of-mind = tip-of-tongue. Lots of companies are on survival mode now so spending is curtailed but that may be counterproductive. If people are not coming to your stores, go to them. During the lockdown, Samsung offered to deliver their Galaxy Note20 smartphones to keen users for a hands-on trial—at no extra cost. Trust us, even if they do not buy the Note now they will definitely think of Samsung the next time they are in the market for a new phone.

Find out more about the Galaxy Test Drive here
and check out the latest Samsung Galaxy Note20 here.

From face-to-face to face-the-world

The pandemic has reinforced to business leaders that the world is small. Small, medium businesses—and even multi-nationals—have thrown open the doors of trade to the world. Use the tech tools (like live streaming on social, podcasting, blog, etc) available to you to reach the world, without leaving the comfort of home. Convert your SMB to an MNC.

Networking is not just a professional buzzword. It is a lifeline to your staff, friends and loved ones. It is time to embrace a new normal in the way we work, play and interact. Who knows? You may even make a couple of new BFFs by the time the pandemic is over.

References: Straits Times Singapore/NBC News/Fortune.com/The Enterprisers Project/ Korn Ferry
About Peter Yeo
Peter once showed his story to a famous playwright, which launched his career in publishing. Since then he has contributed to magazines like 8Days, Men’s Health, Home&Décor, The Peak and in news portals such as Todayonline and CNA Lifestyle. As a freelance wordsmith, he has consulted and produced content for iMDA, Singapore Global Network, Dell, PayPal and more. A techie and geek-at-heart, he is often plugged into reddit for the latest news on gadgets and the IoT. Catch up with him on tech of the future on LinkedIn.