Robert Reffkin
631,033 views • 2:53

So when was the last time that you wrote a handwritten note? It's probably been a while.

[The Way We Work]

Technology has changed the way we communicate. We send emails, not letters, text messages, not phone calls. We order delivery instead of cooking dinners in our kitchen. All in the name of efficiency. But here's the point. Technology has made it easier to communicate. But it hasn't made it easier to connect with other human beings.

I've found that the secret to connecting in the high-tech, fast-paced world that we live in, is doing a few small things the old-fashioned way.

Write a letter. I've written thousands of handwritten notes. Thanking people for advice, thanking them for an interview. It just puts that extra effort to show someone that you really care and that you're willing to go above and beyond. Some advice for writing a thank-you letter is to really make it clear to the person that you're writing to the impact that they have had on your life. Talk about something specific. Like "Thank you for the advice that you gave me. It's because of the advice you gave me, that I am now doing x." People are looking to make a difference. And so if you can show someone that they've really had an impact on the life that you're living, the life you're pursuing, it could have a huge impact.

Pick up the phone and dial. We've hired thousands of employees. And I've personally called every single one of them to welcome them to the Compass family. I'm able to set the tone of really what I want the company to be. Where, you know, people go above and beyond to make people feel welcomed and to give people a sense of belonging. And sometimes I call people on their last day of work. When people leave, sometimes they're more transparent than they ever were when they were still at the company. And so it's a great opportunity to get feedback that is very hard to get otherwise.

Ask interesting and meaningful questions when you get outside of the office. When I'm traveling the country, every night I'll have dinner with people in the company. And I like to ask questions like "What's your underlying motivation? What's something that's happened this week that meant a lot to you?" And when you go around the table, and people really open up and are able to engage, it sets a different tone. When people come back to the office, they can see each other and they know each other in a deeper way.

Answer questions with honesty. You know how it feels when you go into an elevator and someone says, "How was your weekend?" It could've been the best weekend ever, you could've met the love of your life, and you would say, "Good, how was yours?" If you want to connect with people, then you have to open up. I'm not always that good at it, and I imagine most people aren't. But that's why being open stands out so much, because most people aren't.

Turn the video on. I would always recommend a videoconference over a phone call. Because that's when you can see the real personality come out. When you're on video, you're forced to be present. It's almost a forcing mechanism to be in the moment.

Nobody succeeds alone. The more you can take time to develop genuine, authentic relationships, the more you're going to be able to realize your dreams. You're going to be able to take big risks and know that there's a network of people to cheer you on and to support your efforts.