Building Effective Business Relationships
There are two types of relationships in your life: familiar and business. Both are equally important for different reasons. There are varying degrees of familiar relationships, but business is business. Since business relationships greatly affect your life and career, you need to know how to build and foster them.
Obviously, the first step for a positive business relationship is to have the person’s contact information, or to be in the same office as them. Once you have that, you’re all set to move on to the next parts, which should all be done slowly and simultaneously. It takes time to have trust in the workplace between two parties.
Have mutual respect.
You know how the saying goes- you have to give respect to get respect. This still holds strong. Also, showing respect will be respected, especially if it is to someone that is worth getting to know. Even if you don’t necessarily like a coworker, boss, or client as a person, in order to continue your success you need to still be respectful.
Be you. This is a good one for any relationship across the board, but it is even truer in the workplace because you need to show your actual skills instead of your desired skills. You can always acquire or build up new or dormant skill sets. Have confident and be real, not egotistical or something you aren’t.
Have shared goals and visions.
Success breeds success. But how do you get started in the first place? By being on the same page as those around you. Find a common thread with those that you want a growing business relationship with, even if they work in a field that is only vaguely related to yours.
Have more than just “contact”.
Facebook friends and LinkedIn connects don’t cut it. Neither do emails or phone numbers. You have to do more to stand out. Keeping and staying in touch, no matter if it’s just “touching base”, seeing how business is, or going to a luncheon, checking in will keep relationships strong.
Have good perception skills.
Perceiving when to take initiative or when to lay off in a conversation is vital to business relationship success. When to move forward and when to stop pushing a contact is a skill that is often intuitive, but it can be learned through close observations.
Have something to offer.
It’s not all about you and what others bring to the table, but what you bring to theirs. Helping others to get what they want is a good first step in being seen as trustworthy. It portrays you in a good light, makes a good impression, and will most likely get you something in return, even if it’s just a further opened door. However, don’t expect anything in return, just be kind.