Building Bridges in Harrisonburg

It has been an interesting learning experience moving to a new town and trying to build trust in the profession I have worked in for 10+ years. Trust is a valuable commodity that is not easily given to “the new guy” in town. I have found that some people are more open to ‘give you a shot’ even without total trust, but simply a belief that your resume cannot be a total fluke. Then there are those that have to have a relationship with you before ever opening up their circle of clients to your abilities.

I have had great success building relationships in Harrisonburg through getting out and showing my abilities, through volunteering, speaking engagements, and having one on one conversations. While I have made some mistakes over the last couple of years growing a network here in Harrisonburg, I have learned who I can trust and in turn gained trust. While I find my best successes have been in the professional world, it is interesting to me that those that perform the same services as me are the last to trust and for me to trust. I wonder if there is a better way to open up to your competition to make both of you better at what you do or if there will always be a divide caused from the act of competition. Athletes don’t seem to have this inability to work across lines, jumping from team to team, they seem to be accepted into the fold to create a more dynamic machine. So why in the business world are we so hesitant to collaborate for the greater good? I hope to continue to learn to trust, build more collaborative relationships, and grow as a professional architect in Harrisonburg for many years to come.

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