A contact is not (yet) a relationship. The value and depth of a relationship is only ever recognised in times of crisis, the resilience of a bond is only ever revealed in times of stress. Imagine your city is hit by a catastrophe, everything is on the move. How quickly would you manage to get yourself and your loved ones to safety with the help of your personal contacts? How many people could you call, ask for help and receive it? To get away from extreme examples: How many people who are not part of your family could you generally call after midnight with a problem without being insulted?
“the secret of fruitful relationship building?”
A relationship is by definition “…a sustained interaction between social entities…”, which already suggests that exchanging business cards or digital friend requests is not enough to establish a real connection between two people. Contacts become relationships when the contact is regular and as personal as possible and when both partners have similar values/goals. A relationship is a contact to which the element of “trust” has been added. Only when you trust someone does the willingness grow in you to commit yourself to that person and to open up yourself with your wishes, problems and ideas. Only when you have a positive emotional connection can you speak of a relationship. And only relationships, not contacts, really take you further in your life. So in order to build a resilient relationship, be it professional or private, I have to be “intensely” involved with someone. The fleeting greeting at a standing reception simply does not go beyond the function of initial contact.