By; Rhonda Bunker
Director of Sales
Have you ever asked yourself the question, why is it so much easier to build strong relationships in my personal life, than it is in my professional setting? It’s a challenge many people have today. I’ve been asked, on several occasions throughout my professional career, how it is I develop such strong and lasting professional relationships? The first couple of times when I was posed with that question, I shrugged and said, “I don’t know.” After some time and getting asked that question time and time again, I gave it some deep consideration and realized the answer was simple. I treat my professional relationships in the same manner I do my personal ones. I know this idea frightens a lot of people, as the fear of not being professional or letting someone in that you’re just meeting doesn’t seem to be P.C. in today’s world. I’m not suggesting you ask every professional relationship you make over to your home for dinner, but do suggest you take some of the fundamentals you practice in your personal life into your professional setting.
Think about your best friend or your first love. When you first met that person, how did you get to know them? Did you ask them questions about themselves or did you tell them how the relationship was going to go? Did you sit down upon meeting that person and say… This is what I like, this is what I don’t like, this is how I do things, this is how our relationship will benefit you, this is what I suggest we do and when we do it…? Of course you didn’t, and if you did, your social media pages would be empty, aside from the array of selfies you posted. My guess is, you probably asked them questions about themselves, looked for common interests, goals and likes. You probably had a conversation where both parties contributed, you probably listened a lot, you probably praised that person and more than likely, you set up a follow-up time to meet relatively close to your initial encounter. Don’t be afraid to get to know your business partners and employees. In the world of social media, text messages, smoke signals, etc. people have lost the fine art of getting to know someone and communicating. Instead we’ve replaced it with rushed messages, telling instead, of asking and not making an effort to show the person we are interacting with that they are important and what they have to say matters. Who knows?; if you take the time to get to know your professional circle in the manner in which you have your personal circle, your business will be more rewarding, satisfying and successful. Should you make an extra friend along the way, that’s not such a bad thing either.