Connection is what ultimately we all want. Some are naturally good at creating it between us. In my opinion, there are many modern ‘conveniences’ that create the reverse of connection. An automated phone system is an example that pops to mind.

Being aware of my need for connection, I find when I get unique ‘connection hits’ I note them. A recent one I am enjoying I have both sent and received.

I forwarded what I thought was a useful article to my friend and colleague Jason Billows ( Within a minute of me sending it, I received the following email. Subject line: “This must be just like living in paradise.”

The email read:

That’s a lyric from one of my favourite Van Halen songs.

It is also what I expect to be saying all week long.

My wife, kids, and I are going to be in Dominican Republic to celebrate Wuv, true wuv, at the wedding of two good friends.

We’ll be soakin’ in the ocean and playing with the kids non-stop. It’s going to be awesome.

Unfortunately that means I won’t get to read your email until I return to the office ____date here___.

While you’re waiting for my response, go check out Van Halen’s video for Just Like Paradise.

Have a great week.

How fun is that!

Often people follow the pre-formatted standard: You’ve reached the voicemail of ____. I’m unavailable to take your call at the moment. Please leave your name and number at the sound of tone, and I’ll get back to you on my arrival.
YAWN. Welcome to robot-ville.

Your voice mail, your out of office alert and your opening & closing salutations are all opportunities for you to connect with others. And every time you go with the pre-written standpoint you show others that you obey instructions, yet…well…who are you being?

Here are a couple examples of my own:

On a recent work trip my out of office reply was
Subject line: Creating Presence

Until January 30th I am facilitating a 3-day Emerging Leaders Program.
And I am THRILLED about it :0)

Send positive energy my way, and I’ll utilize every morsel!

Know I will respond to your email after typical business hours.

Our current home voicemail says:
You’ve reached Nance and the boys. We’re not answering the phone because we are into mischief. When I call you back, I’ll share the highlights!

My closing email or letter salutation often reads With gratitude or Warmly. Why? That’s how I feel. Often I add a question just before that, which asks the received of my email to consider something like:

What’s the WOW for your week so far?

Who needs to receive a supportive phone call from you right now?

How are you going to celebrate you today?

Most likely these examples I’ve shared have made your grin, have got you thinking, and are giving you some insight on me.

Relationship building is about creating trust. How are you putting yourself out there to start doing that uniquely?

Here’s my take. I lose NOTHING by doing it, have fun creating it and get great response from it.

Here are some response I’ve have from an out of office last week:

-What a positive “out of office” message! Hope it went well.

-This is the best “out of office” I have ever seen!…. just had to say 🙂 passing on positive thoughts to you and the entire group!!

-Nancy –I NEED to learn more about this course you’re facilitating today. When next week can you talk?

What can you do to bring you + connection to your typical standard fare?

Go for it! xo