I love relationships because each one is unique. Each relationship has its own evolution, its own purpose and should be treated as such. Creating professional relationships is key to success in business, but it may not be something that comes naturally to you (that’s okay!). I believe effective relationship building can be learned, just like any other skill. I’ve outlined some simple tips to get you started.
1. Develop Respect
This takes time, but it’s one of the most important aspects of a professional relationship. Prove yourself through experiences and activities, and let others do the same.
2. Show Vulnerability
There is an honesty and authenticity in our vulnerabilities. It brings people together, often because we can commiserate in some form. Give support freely if someone shares a challenge or difficulty. And don’t be afraid to share your challenges as well; it makes you human. Support doesn’t need to be extravagant, it just needs to be authentic.
3. Expand Your Network
Go outside your comfort zone. Yes, it’s necessary. And I promise it gets easier over time. Seek out contacts from many different organizations and open yourself up to new opportunities. I cannot stress the importance of networking enough!
4. Spend Quality Time on Quality Relationships
Spend your time where it matters. Give priority to relationships that will generate returns. Recognizing quality relationships can be learned as well, so don’t be discouraged if you’ve had trouble with this in the past. All skills can be honed and improved!
5. Join a New Networking Group
Perhaps you’ve been part of the same group for years and haven’t seen much return. Or maybe you just joined a group, but it doesn’t feel right. Find another group! It’s okay to keep trying until you find the one that’s right for you. Networking is the single most effective way to build business.
Creating lasting, quality relationships in business takes skill and effort, but it’s worth it! If you need a little motivation to get started, check out my blog post, Multiplying Your Motivation.