The Knack of Better Business Relationships
Have you ever wondered why some people in your organization, or your network, seem to have all the luck? They tend to get promotions and their professional momentum is never stalled out.
It’s not luck they have, it’s something else. And you can have it, too!
What do they have others don’t have? Relationships. Several QUALITY RELATIONSHIPS.
By learning how to form and leverage relationships with others in your professional path, you too can push your career to new heights, no matter your role, tenure or current skills.
There are five specific relationship-building habits of those “lucky” few. Take a moment to assess your skills in this area and see if you have an opportunity to adopt some new habits to better serve your organization, your customers, and ultimately propel you career forward:
Establish Your Brand
Everyone has a brand. And those successful people are aware it is not only what forms the first impression, it forms all the impressions (reputation). They make sure it is genuine and includes these two things:
Consistency: They are consistent in their approach to people, decisions and work. You can predict how they will respond to almost anything and therefore you can count on the relationship to be on “steady ground”. Inconsistency leaves you wondering which “person” you’ll get. You know the type and let’s hope it’s not you.
Gratitude: They are appreciative of nearly every interaction and they take the time to make you feel it through their words and their actions. Even during tough discussions or disagreements, they take the time to let you know they appreciate the dialogue and are grateful to have the opportunity to work together. (See related blog: Using the 10 Foot Rule to Increase Your Likability)
Trust is fundamental to any strong relationship. In business, trust may be the single most important quality for strong relationships. Trust leads to more autonomy, more promotions, more referrals, more investment in the relationship. Here are two habits of high trust people:
Competence: They are not necessarily the smartest or the most skilled, but they have a level of competence for the basics of their role and are always willing to improve their skills so they can continue to add value to the relationship. They go above and beyond to make you comfortable that you can count on them.
Warmth: You just want to be around them. Mostly because they show they are interested in the relationship over the business deal.
Manage Up, Over and Down
It's called Teamwork. Some people are known for “managing up” really well and leave the rest of the organization wondering why the “bosses” like them so well. This strategy catches up with them pretty quickly and it’s only a matter of time before they fall from grace. It’s those who genuinely want to be connected and have strong relationships with their bosses, their employees and most of all their peers who find long-term success. Peer-based relationships are what drives organizations forward. Lack of these type of relationships create silos and internal competition. Often, it’s not on purpose that peer-based relationships are overlooked; it could be there is so much to do, it doesn’t make the list. Those who have great results make it a priority to have quality relationships with their peers.
Find A Mentor or Coach...And Be One, Too!
There is not a soul on earth who can’t get a little better with some coaching or expert advice. Those consistently successful people seek out someone (or a short-list of people) who can keep them on track, point out their shortcomings and push them a little harder than they may push themselves. And…
Everyone at all levels of an organization can also be a mentor or a coach. Sometimes it’s called reverse mentoring, where a new hire or new grad can help coach their boss or peers on a new technology. Whatever you’re good at, be willing to help others become good at it, too! (See related blog: The Lost Art of Coaching)
Connect People Together
Networking internally and externally is a way of life for those who have strong business relationships and forward moving careers. They enjoy giving more than they take. Connecting people together who may have an opportunity to grow their business relationships will always come back around.
Butler Street works with executives and business professi