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Communication 101: Invest in Relationships

Check out my insightful series of short videos!

Each one is 2~ish minutes of insights & tips. 

“Relationship”

Don’t you just love that word? Relationships can be tricky no doubt and they can also make life easier. Professional Relationships mirror personal ones in many respects but there’s one big mindset difference—we often think professional relationships are one-dimensional. People aren’t seen as complex humans with feelings and dreams of their own; they are just the ones we work with or the ones who pay us. When you hear, “I’m just a number to that store or to my boss!!” that’s the signal of a one-dimensional mindset.

It’s simple and easy to think like this—for a while. But it will catch up with everyone and it will make even the simplest conversation feel like a million arrows stabbing your head. Worse yet, it will cost you loyal customers, top-notch employees, money, and respect. You will start over again and again—exhausting!

If you think starting, building, and maintaining more relationships sounds daunting, you’re not alone. It does take time and focused effort so start small…and the nurturing doesn’t have to be elaborate; it has to be consistent. The biggest fruits of your effort will be Trust and a Bank of Goodwill.

We build trust with others. Anyone who’s remodeled a room knows that building takes time and is totally worth the wait IF the work is done with integrity. Same thing goes for building trust. Pack your patience and stay the course even when progress is slow and there are setbacks (what remodeling project doesn’t have setbacks?!). And then there will be a moment when you realize that you’ve built so much trust that you have something bigger—BAZINGA!! A bank of goodwill and the balance is big!

A bank of goodwill means you and another person have invested in each other to a point where you understand that satisfaction will be far more common than snafus. Constructive conversations will be done with care and a genuine desire to improve things. Even during challenges or disagreements, the bank of goodwill will fund the relationship and trust will continue to grow. When you’re connected like this with your colleagues, employees, boss, and clients amazing things will happen and the normal day-to-day stuff won’t feel hard.

So, how do you start? I’m tackling that next week! Can’t wait (I’m not patient either)? Think about one person in your professional world. The first person who comes to mind is great! Start each day thinking about this person’s life-how do you hope her/his day begins? When you eat your lunch focus on this person …what is he eating? And before you end your day, think again and be curious about her as a real person with goals, challenges, and dreams.

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