An important aspect of any successful business is the ability to build and maintain strong business relationships.
Whether you like it or not, at times you will find yourself surrounded by people you would rather not work with, because they have different values or views to you, because their personality clashes with yours, or to put it plain and simply, you just don’t like them.
Developing skills to help you build and nurture positive professional relationships is a must have for running a successful business, for being a successful business person and for the longevity of your business and business persona.
Evaluate how you can use the following strategies to help you create meaningful, long-lasting relationships.
Making genuine connections with people is all about being authentic. Putting on a front and trying to come across as someone you are not is exhausting for you and for the person or people you are trying to develop a relationship with. Every individual is unique and has something special to offer, so never feel like you have to put on a facade and be someone you aren’t. By being genuine, you will attract other genuine people.
Listening and paying attention to what the other person is saying when communicating is extremely important. Strong relationships are built off of people feeling a connection to you, which is why it is essential that you are present and paying attention to what they are saying. To show that you are doing this, practice active listening by repeating things that they have said, rephrasing what they have said and asking further questions to gather more information.
Take your time
When first meeting people, it can be very easy to make judgements and assumptions about who that person is and what they are about. It is important that you take your time to get to know people and don’t rush; you need to let relationships grow naturally. If you are over enthusiastic it can come across as disingenuous which will make it difficult for strong business relationships to develop. By taking your time, you will discover how you can help the other person as well as ways in which they can help you.
Building relationships is a great way to build up your pool of resources, but you can’t expect people to help you out if you aren’t willing to lend your time to others in the same way. Relationships, whether business based or otherwise are a two-way street; both parties need to put the effort in for the relationship to be mutually beneficial. Don’t only think about what others can do for you, consider how you can help others.