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I’ve always believed that the summer season should offer us a change of pace and a little more leisure and relaxation than the rest of the year. So, this summer I’m doing something different with my networking and social efforts.

Instead of going to a lot of larger networking events and gatherings, I’m focusing on scheduling one-on-ones (coffees, lunches, happy hours, walk-and-talks) where we can really converse and go deep and broad, rather than having only the brief “Hello, how are you? What’s new?” exchanges.

My one-on-ones might be with new contacts I’ve met during the year and find interesting and inspiring. Or they might be friends, clients, peers, and “major supporters,” many of whom I’ve lost track of over the last few years.  And of course I always do my best to make time for my dearest friends. My Big Goal is to work around our travel schedule and get one or two one-on-ones on the calendar each week. This means I should get in just over 20 one-on-ones before September.  This may not sound like much or that it’s just scratching the surface of my network. And you’re right. But it’s a goal. (If you want to know more about doing the calculus of your network, how to stay in touch with it, and why quality matters more than quantity, read Chapter 4 of my award-winning book The Intentional Networker.)

What specific goals are you setting for your networking and socialization this summer? Or has that fallen off your radar? If so, consider this: The strength of your network and social circle is directly related to our success, happiness, and health. Neglecting your people and fall into a state of isolation and dreary routine is, according to top health experts, as devastating to your health as smoking.  In other words, it’s the new cancer.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you keep in touch with your social circle and network.  Send me an email or comment below.