How to build a relationship?
Building a relationship is something that has always been straightforward to me – in the context of personal, professional and yes of course intimate rapport’s; however for some people it does not come naturally.
I have read many blog posts explaining the best tips for create a lasting relationship but the truth is -There is not one answer that can cover the spectrum; this is because everyone is different, and have their own ideology of what the perfect relationship should be like. For this post in particular I shall be focusing on professional relationships, however you will be surprised how much can be related to your personal contacts. I apologise in advance for what may seem as a broad view on relationship building, but to get more specific I would need to know the in’s and out’s of what of you would like to achieve. Here are a few of my thoughts…
1) What’s more important; your wants or theirs?
“We would like to increase our sales so we shall enthuse our customers to buy more products”, Sure – that’s what you would like in an ideal world, but how is this going to build upon your customer relationships? It is easy to think what you want Think about equity theory. Relationships are give and take – what can you give your contact that no one else can? This is where you say ‘The best chips in the whole of Cambridge”, wrong… that is opinion.
2) Relationships take time to build.
Your sitting by the phone waiting for that all important order to come in from a customer you have just sent some information to – Its not always going to be that easy, spend your time, be patient and once a relationship is nurtured thats when the good stuff comes in. Yes this is completely subjective some relationships can be very swift, but if they start swiftly remember they can end just as swiftly. The more time spent getting to know that other person, or company – the more comf0rtable they feel with you, and the less chance that they will walk away.
4) Not everyone is the same!
I could dwell on this point but I think it is enough to say treat every relationship like a caveman learning to create fire, do not hold biases based on past experiences and recognise that people of a different culture or way of life may see professional relationships very different to you.
3) The perfect balance is impossible.
I want to make it clear that I think it is very important to treat those how you would like to be treated, especially in a professional workplace. We have all heard the saying that relationships are ‘give and take’ which is true, but you will never witness a perfectly balanced relationship at any point in time. That’s because it is rare occasion when two people need each other at the exact same time. An example is that I currently need advice for a business idea for; I have seeked this through friends and colleagues I have in my network, they do not need me at this time – but one day when i’m older and have a wider knowledge of marketing or other business areas, they may just need me! But in the future I may not need them? The scale is constantly balanced – and that is perfectly fine if both people in this relationship understand the rules – if you take and take – then your going to fall off the scales.
I would love to hear what things you have experienced in your professional relationships and what advice you would share?