Hi everyone! My name is Tara and I am a third year student at the University of Western Ontario. Today, I had the pleasure to attend Illuminate x Sam’s Effective Communication workshop. Here are my thoughts highlighting what I learned about.
My key takeaway from his workshop was his portion about relationship development. As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has made nearly everything virtual, which can make relationship development difficult. When I began university, I was told to build relationships with my classmates and professors, which was almost impossible in a virtual setting. I really struggled with building relationships while in a virtual environment. You often hear that you should cold email people to start building a relationship, and reach out to everyone and anyone for a coffee chat, but Sam’s tips really helped me realize that that approach may not always work. I think his point about the quality of engagement versus the quantity of people you speak to is particularly helpful. It’s easy to start sending messages to everyone you see in Linkedin, in hopes that someone will respond, but following Sam’s advice, it may be better to use a more strategic approach, and reach out to people who are doing what you hope to do in the future, and building a personal relationship with them rather than building a purely transactional relationship. While you’re getting to know someone, Sam advises that we ask engaging questions, rather than long questions in attempts to seem impressive. Building a relationship with someone is more than just trying to look good, you want to take that opportunity to learn something new from someone.