Christmas is just under a week away and SPEARity CEO, Darren Fisher, just shared on his leadership vlog the importance of reaching out and spending time with other people during the holidays. But if you struggle with relationships building skills this isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Talking with family and friends might not be a problem, but reaching out to others may be more of a challenge for you.
As a leader, you may know all the right things you “should” say in business. You may have all the terms down and sales lingo to make deals happen. But what about the conversations that develop relationships with coworkers, clients, potential clients, and grow your network in general? These are the conversations people tend to struggle with. In fact, 60% of people consider themselves shy and most people you talk to hate networking events.
But relationships are an important part of business and more importantly life. If you’re wondering how to improve your relationships building skills in business, these tips can help:
1. Be authentic
When you are your authentic self in conversations, it’s much easier to connect with others in a real way. You don’t have to worry about putting on this fake personality and then remembering to act like that every time you bump into that person. When you are yourself you free others up to be their authentic selves as well. This leads to making connections with the people and companies whose values and missions align with yours.
2. Give before you expect to receive
Don’t be the person that goes to a networking event, walks away with a stack of business cards, and then reaches out the next day to everyone trying to sell themselves. You don’t want to be that person. Instead, as you work on building relationships, try to identify ways you can help each person you interact with. Can you help them make a connection by introducing them to someone they’re trying to get a conversation with? Can you provide buy their product or use their services? How can you give to the relationship?
If you look like you’re only building the relationship to try to benefit from them, people are going to quickly grow leery of you.
3. Do what you say you’re going to do
The importance of integrity in relationships is often overlooked. You can stand apart from the crowd simply by keeping your commitments. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. Overpromising and underdelivering is not going to help you build relationships of any kind.
Of course, there are times when something might happen outside of your control and you can’t meet a deadline or something falls through the cracks, but this should be the exception, not the rule.
4. Remember you’re forming relationships with people
Whether it’s your employees, coworkers, managers, customers, or others in your network, they all have one thing in common—they’re people. You don’t have to be best friends with everyone you interact with, and you shouldn’t be. But if you treat people like robots they’re not going to feel any type of personal connection with you.
Think about the people you interact with at work on a regular basis. What do you know about them? Do you know about their family? Do you know where they’re from originally? What are their hobbies?
Sharing and knowing this type of information can help you genuinely care more about the people you interact with. It helps form more real relationships that can make doing business together easier.
Communication is crucial to healthy relationships. People prefer to know what’s going on, they don’t want to be kept in the dark. This goes for customers and employees.
With your customers, communicate often about the status of your work. Are you on schedule? Is a deadline going to be missed? It’s always better to share information with customers before they have to ask you for it. This helps people to feel like you’ve got their back and are doing your best to take care of them and their business.
With your employees, communication helps them know what’s going on and can make it easier for them to feel like part of the team. Of course, there are some things that senior-level management may need to know that every person in the organization doesn’t need to know, but that doesn’t mean everything needs to be kept secret from the team. The more they know about the business and how their work is part of the overall process, the more it can help them excel at what they do. This helps build buy-in with your employees.
One way you can keep your team in the know is by using a goal tracking and task management app like the SPEARity app. It allows you and your team to see what work is being done to work towards the goals and can help keep everyone on the same page.
As we get ready to move into 2024, look for ways you can build stronger relationships with those you do business with including those within your organization. You’ll be amazed at the many ways this will benefit your business and life.