“True belonging. Be vulnerable. Get uncomfortable. Be present with people without sacrificing who you are.” —Brenee Brown
How much do you focus on relationship building as part of your business success?
Last week I was in a meeting with several business leaders. Some of them own businesses, some run large corporations. In the conversation, the single most important thing they said that drove their success was relationship building.
The thing is, whether it’s with your clients, your employees, your customers, or your purveyors, strong relationships are key. And yet they don’t always come easy because they take commitment.
They require putting ourselves out there and connecting with others. However, the rewards are immeasurable as relationships open doors, spark ideas, and enrich our lives.
Today we’re going to touch on some of the “ways of being” that build authentic relationships that will move your business forward.
Be Open in Your Relationships
The relationships we forge in our businesses require us to see things from other’s perspectives.
One of the best ways to facilitate this is to listen without judgment during conversations.
Are you open to what others have to say? Are you willing to see another point of view?
Don’t worry about what you’re going to say, that will come naturally if you’re engaged. Listen for content as well as tone, and watch body language if you’re talking in person.
When you’re open to others, they feel it regardless of the kind of relationship on hand, and become more likely to reciprocate with openness in return.
Be Genuine and Interested
As much as allowing others to see us is important, so is really seeing others. Take the time to find out what’s going on with others when you’re in a conversation.
Be curious as to what makes them tick, and what you have in common. Be of service so you can support them in whatever they need. Relationships flourish when we care, and the awesome thing is that in this way, our needs almost always get met as well.
Be Your Word
Do what you say you will. Follow up on any promises you make.
If something doesn’t work out, or you make a mistake, own it. If you miss a call, a deadline, a meeting, or things get postponed, inform the person that needs to know as to what’s going on for you. Be honest. Integrity with your word goes a long way.
Building relationships means being present in the moment with whomever you are interacting with.
Another kind of presence is equally important when building relationships and that is, showing up. Show up to events, networking, meetings, and social engagements. You never know who you will meet or what will come of the time you spent. Get involved as there is nothing like face to face time when building relationships.
Be willing to be vulnerable. Let people see who you are.
In her book, Rising Strong, Dr. Brenee Brown says, “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to be seen when we have no control over the outcome.” Building authentic relationships is all about the vulnerability of letting people in, and letting them get to know who you are.
Relationship building is a two way street. I used to think that it was all about listening and asking questions. I was sure I didn’t need to reveal much about myself. And you know that worked on the surface, but to really have a meaningful relationship takes sharing who you are as well as learning about someone else. And that takes courage.
Bring these ways of being to your relationships, and they’ll foster goodwill and trust. This in turn will support you in growing your business—and having a good time doing it!