How do you define a relationship? A relationship is a connection between two people providing they have a bond, communication, trust and a mutual respect. Not all relationships are healthy ones and not all of them will last forever. In light of this, it is important to recognize the main differences in relationships before deciding to build a business relationship.
How do you build relationships?
How many people do you know say, “Let’s connect,” and you never hear from those people again… until they want something? That’s not a relationship.
Establishing a relationship depends on two things: communication and trust. Trust is the foundation that every solid relationship is built on. This is true for personal relationships and business relationships, but how do you know when it’s time to build relationships in business? The time is before you build your brand or sign on the dotted line, but there are requirements of having a business relationship. Below are listed some of the key aspects of building a meaningful and productive business relationship.
Before you build a relationship
Before you decide to build a business relationship, you should first understand that micromanaging your staff is not the most effective use of time or money. Why hire someone to do a job if you spend more time at their desk than your own? In business, you need people behind you that you can trust but you need to know how to communicate with those individuals.
Delegating responsibilities is key, and those who try to control everything will never develop the integral partnerships skills needed in business. To convey certain messages and goals, you will need to know how to communicate, form a bond, earn a level of respect and in like manner, trust. If you don’t have at least those three assets, it is recommended you develop those before going any further.
Forming a bond
No two people are the same even if they share the same goals. You can establish a healthy relationship by accepting there will be differences of opinions and embracing those challenges by delegating duties. As a matter of fact, when it comes to accepting who we are, you should remember women and men may solve problems and communicate in very different ways, but both are important and can be extremely complementary in a business setting.
There is enough data to show that companies which have more women in leadership roles and occupying seats on a board end up yielding greater profit than those which are less gender diverse. In 2017 and beyond, diversity should be a natural part of business growth strategies.
Many of the top Silicon Valley tech companies have recognized their egregious failing in this area and are publicly releasing information on their staff breakdown to create better accountability. Apple CEO Tim Cook believes strongly that women and diversity is the future of his company, but even their numbers are lagging behind. It’s about time the business world is waking up to the knowledge of women’s crucial contributions, and create environments where they too can thrive and form relationships, breaking the stereotypical “boy’s club” mold.
Respect goes a long way
Have you ever worked with someone you didn’t get along with? It’s natural to disagree with a colleague, when the two are strong minded individuals and believe in themselves and what they think is right. When you’re able to see both sides and come together to form a solution, this is called respect. By the same token, respect is what will hold two or more people together in the workplace. Without it, you won’t be able to reach common goals when two people don’t think the same way.
Respect doesn’t demand conforming to someone else’s opinion or ideas, it is a delicate balance of understanding the other point of view and being able to continue a productive working relationship anyway. This is very common in work spaces where strong opinions or work strategies are not always looked upon favorably by everyone. The most successful business relationships and companies find ways to include each voice, and appoint leaders who can minimize conflict while effectively implementing the best of the ideas presented.
Trust is a must
What is trust? Trust is integrity, reliance, surety and confidence in something or someone. Friendships in the workplace are fine, but trust builds relationships and it ensures an obligation will be met. How do you build trust? You do it by standing on your word, coming in on time, taking care of your responsibilities, keeping order and abiding by the rules.
Similarly these are all traits necessary to forming or building a working relationship as well as maintaining one. Knowing you can rely on a colleague no matter what the situation is key. At the same time, if you are in a work environment where you don’t feel you can trust anyone, or don’t feel respected, knowing how to extricate yourself from that situation can be empowering.
Keep relationships on a business level
The one thing that’s important to remember about business relationships is that you shouldn’t have to feel pressured to get personal. Your private life is your own to keep outside of work. You don’t have to discuss your weekend, your partner, the family or anything that doesn’t pertain to work. In some cases, this can negatively affect a good working relationship, or even turn into something more serious like harassment.
Set boundaries before attempting to build a business partnership or relationship. Whatever you do, set the rules about flirting, dating and intimacy at the workplace and make them clear. There are companies which frown on relationships at work, especially those who work in the same departments. It’s important to know the standards and rules of your work place. Keeping personal relationships outside of the workplace is also a good way to avoid potential tensions that can affect productivity.
When it’s time to build relationships, you should have trust, communication, respect, and of course, understanding. The business relationships you form are vital to the success of the company if you depend on others and all business depends on other people in one way or another. If you own a blog, you need readers; if you own an online retail store, you need paying customers. To cultivate those relationships, you must have something they want, a genuine concern to meet their needs, plus you must establish a line of trust and communication to effectively solve problems, to gather solutions and gain their loyalty.