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During college, I learned many technical skills. One of the most important skills to learn was not taught in college thus, I learned all about relationship building through trial and error. Relationship building is a life-long skill that transfers into all areas of life. It doesn’t matter if an individual is an employee, an entrepreneur, a mother, a sister, a wife or business partner. Building relationships is important in any professional or personal endeavor. Here are some guidelines I have learned that help in building relationships.
I love this quote. As a young professional new to the business world, I started out trying to be what I thought Senior Managers, Executives, and esteemed colleague’s thought I should be. I believe many young professionals make this error. Not being who you are will only get you so far in the business world and life in general.
Authenticity is a must. Years ago, I made a promise to live a more authentic life. Some of the people I most admire, know who they are, have the courage to be who they are, and are happy doing so. In your career and in your personal life, people know when you are not being authentic. They can feel it, I can feel it. Authenticity is the first step to relationship building.
Once, I started to be my authentic self, all the goals I was working toward, came overflowing in my life. During a person’s career, there are many people who help cultivate, motivate and mentor the individual. Having strong relationship building skills helps this process.
Of course, in a professional environment, you must act professionally. To be authentic is to be true to your unique distinctiveness. Who are you? Does the person know who you are? Do you stay true to who you have established yourself to be? While building a relationship, it is important to be genuine, (remember people can tell when you’re faking it) once you have established who you are, stay true to that authenticity. This is how trust is built.
Trust is crucial to every relationship. Would you want someone on your team you could not trust? I absolutely would not. The people you report to want to trust you will do what you have been hired to do. In business, clients need to trust you will deliver what you have promised. Your business partners need to trust you will deliver you portion of the project.
When you are building relationships, ensure you are doing what you said you would do. If you say “I will call you on Tuesday at 2:00,” make sure you do so. Strive to over deliver. People are observing to see if you are trustworthy with a little fish, before giving you a big fish.
Service to Others
One of the best ways to build relationships and increase self-development, is to shift the focus off one self and on to helping others. In a world where individual self-gratification typically comes first, service to others can be last on the list. There are many organizations and individuals who dedicate themselves to helping others. Partner with these people and give back. Many relationships can come out of these endeavors. Once I shifted my focus to helping others, I became more fulfilled, happier, and more successful.
Relationship building is an important skill that may help you land your first job, your next job, your promotion, open your first business, take your current business to the next level, or help you find your calling. The positive effects are endless. With constant developing of this critical skill, you will notice a big, positive, change in your professional and personal life. What are some ways relationship building has positively impacted your life? I would love to hear from you!
Written by: Rochella Neely
“An Open Book”