I was talking with my supervisor yesterday about my doctor’s appointment on Saturday.
I’ve been seeing a dermatologist since I was little (I once needed to have a large mole removed, so I go for twice yearly skin checks), and for roughly twenty years, I’ve been going to the same practice, and seeing the same doctor.
And, even once my wife and I moved to the northern suburbs of New York City, I’ve still gone to see him.
My supervisor was commenting on the fact that I had to travel close to ninety minutes to see the doctor, and it was a shame that his office wasn’t closer.
She’s right of course. It would be great if his office was closer; on Saturday I spent a good portion of the day traveling.
And yet, there’s something really important about working with people who know you.
This doctor has been providing me with skin checks for roughly two decades. He knows me, and he knows what to look for when I visit. Knowing how different everyone’s skin is, and how long it takes to truly “get to know” what to look for, I feel most comfortable continuing to visit someone who I have developed a long-standing relationship with.
In our personal and professional worlds, long-standing relationships are key. In order to do our best possible work with others, we need to know them, and they need to know us. This “knowing” allows us to push each other more than we would be able to do otherwise. This doesn’t happen quickly; relationships can’t be rushed. But, the more time we’re willing to put into building a relationship, the more likely it is that those relationships blossom into effective collaborative entities.
Certainly, on the surface, it might seem silly to see a doctor whose office is an hour and a half away. But, on a deeper level, that time is irrelevant, if the relationship, and collaboration, is much more effective than it would have been otherwise.