Relationships are fundamental to how we operate and interact with each other. They may begin as an unassuming acquaintanceship and are often influenced by our surroundings. So interaction anywhere from that with a family member or others via our work environment, interest groups or associations can initiate relationships.
Over time, relationships are built upon and improved when they are fostered. Increased time spent with someone leads to mutual trust, comfort, increased knowledge about the person, and more opportunities to find a common ground. Additionally, interdependence develops where you’re then able to share ideas and thoughts, work together effectively, and support each other’s goals and objectives.
We tend to think of this evolution with relationships from a personal standpoint, but the same applies in business for the following three reasons:
People do business with people they like. If you are serious about your business, then surely you are putting in your fair share of work. And we know what work entails; it requires effort and sacrifice and it is never easy. So with that understanding, and especially on those tough days, there should be more to the equation that keeps you motivated. Often enough, the difference is made by people. People can inspire and challenge you and induce a smile when you need it. Amidst the daily demands on the road to success, being surrounded by people you enjoy spending time with makes all the difference.
People do business with people they know. It is so much easier to speak highly about someone when you’re speaking from the heart and experience as opposed to having memorized a static description. Being able to reference someone’s proven track record and quantifiable results is much more convincing than speaking in terms of their potential. This is particularly important in business where results matter and risk is to be minimized. So when you’re venturing into the unknown and taking on a new endeavor, you’re in a much better position with people you can count on as part of your controlled variables.
People do business with people they trust. Mutual trust is important in sustaining any relationship. Add dollars to that equation and people become particularly cautious. Trust is built over time and has to be proven with a level of consistency. So when a history of trust exists, it makes it easier to transition a relationship into a different realm such as business. When new opportunities call for your undivided attention, you want to know that your day-to-day operations are in capable hands and decisions are being made in the best interest of your business.
So the next time you exchange business cards with someone, think about what that really means. You want the implication to be more than just having another card in your Rolodex. You want it to mean that you’re genuinely taking an interest in that person, you’re willing to make time for them, and you’re open to helping them attain success.
Do you have any other tips for managing relationships?
Dasanj Aberdeen is an entrepreneur who embodies the combination of left-brain logic and right-brain imagination as a businesswoman and artist. She founded TheAfter5Edge.com as a platform for encouraging others to optimize their potential by discovering and leveraging their strengths to obtain their competitive edge. She is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Follow her on Twitter at: @TheAfter5Edge.