Grassroots Corner - February 28, 2020

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  • Source: FAIRtax
  • 04/09/2021
Peer-To-Peer Networking

We FAIRtax-ers are spread out all over the country and don’t often have chances to meet in person.  There may be a way to tackle the situation.

Marc Sellouk, President & CEO of Flewber, an air-taxi service, wrote in an 4/26/19 article in, in-person meetings have clear advantages over, say, video conferences.  This observation may sound counterintuitive because modern technology enables participants to not only hear each other but also to see each other.  Isn’t that just like being together with the other person? 

Marc thinks, not quite.  Among other reasons, the importance of connecting with others, such as FAIRtax-ers, in a more informal setting cannot be overstated.  In-person get-togethers provide the opportunity for small talk, which many dismiss as a waste of time.  But learning things about a person’s family or things affecting their lives could be the key to working together in a productive and fruitful way.

Marc’s next point about in-person meetings is they show context.  If we see the environment in which the other FAIRtax-er operates, we gain a better understanding of the problems he or she is facing.

The last point of Marc’s article is in-person meetings establish stronger relationships.  There is a difference between working with someone who is just a voice on the phone or a face on the screen and someone who actually came to visit.  We get a sense of the other person more easily when we sit down together.

So, what prompted this idea for a Grassroots Corner?

Last week Christine and I were on a 5-day family visit to Fort Myers, FL.  FAIRtax President, Steve Hayes, lives about 150 miles away in the Tampa Area.  Once we determined there were no plans made for either a Monday or a Tuesday during our visit, we asked Steve if he might be available for lunch.

We met where I had met Steve before, at a restaurant in Clearwater called Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill.

We had a short but wonderful time - Steve had telephone conferences for his day job as a mediator both before and after the lunch.  

Of course, this wasn’t the first time I had met with Steve in person.  And the in-person meeting doesn’t have to be just the President and the Grassroots Corner guy.  Steve would welcome the opportunity to meet with any FAIRtax-er who happens to be passing through, time permitting.

As the Grassroots guy, I wish we had the budget to send me to meet you fellow FAIRtax-ers all over the country.  But we don’t.  However, this meeting with Steve prompted me to think of how to get FAIRtax peer-to-peer networking to function without a budget for it.

Many FAIRtax-ers travel on business, or on vacation, or to see family.  If you, as a FAIRtax-er, have plans and want to meet FAIRtax-ers at your destination, let me know by Clicking here to email me   Tell me a little about yourself, your plans, and your interest in The FAIRtax.

I will contact our Tech guy Adam Yomtov to send an email about your general travel plans out to FAIRtax-ers at your destination with as many or as few details as you request.  If we get any replies, we will help you and the other FAIRtax-ers exchange contact info, and you can set up a time and place to meet.

I met several years ago with the California Team in Santa Monica and with Cary Henderson at a Starbucks in nearby Los Angeles while I was in California visiting family.  When we talk to each other over the phone now, after we have met in person, we have a much better sense of whom we are talking to.

Your get-together does not need to be expensive or lengthy.  We know when you are visiting, on business, or on vacation, your time is valuable.  You might plan to get together for just an hour.  If you do, send me your selfies for a Grassroots Corner.
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Jim Bennett
AFFT Grassroots Coordinator & Secretary
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