Thanks to technology it’s easier than ever to stay connected with friends, family, and business colleagues. Next time you’re at the office, take a step back and think about how many tools you use to communicate with others. You’d be surprised in how many you can come up with.
Many of these tools have made our lives much easier. But they’ve also changed how we define relationships. Just because someone has 800 friends on Facebook doesn’t mean they’ve built meaningful relationships with 800 different people. In fact, it’s probably quite the opposite.
Building lasting relationships with people takes time. You have to treat every relationship different. To know how to build each relationship, you need to take the time to get the know the person. Listing them as a friend on Facebook or a connection on LinkedIn simply isn’t good enough.
Throughout your business career, the people you meet will make all the difference in your success. That said, it’s more important than ever to build authentic and meaningful relationships. Here are six tips to achieve exactly that.
Don’t try to be somebody else
There’s nothing worse than a phony. In business there’s always a fine line between “fake it til you make it” and being straight up dishonest. Often times the extra “fluff” is just a result of passion. It starts to go south when you paint a picture of yourself that you can’t uphold. If you want to play it safe, just be as authentic as you possibly can.
Think about it this way. Every successful entrepreneur needs at least one win until they can call themselves successful. It’s okay to be a newbie. It’s okay to fail. As long as you’re authentic others will want to help and work with you.
Practice your listening
Did you know one of the most important communication skills has nothing to do with talking? Well you guessed it, it’s listening.
I’m sure you’ve dealt with this issue throughout your life. The fact that nobody listens. Whether it’s your parents, spouse, or boss it just seems like they don’t understand or listen to what you have to say. Well, how do you think other people feel about you?
Next time you’re having a conversation, try your hardest to listen attentively. As you feel yourself want to blurt out or interrupt, just hold back and continue to listen. You’ll learn much more about others and when it comes time to respond, you’ll have a lot more to talk about.
Go on more lunch dates
Pay close attention here and notice the choice of words. This isn’t a lunch meeting, but simply a lunch date. We get so bogged down with work it’s often nice to go out to lunch and let loose for an hour or so. Even better if it’s with one of your business colleagues.
The most valuable relationships in business come from people who genuinely like and respect each other as humans. How do you build that relationship outside of work? One place to start is a lunch date.
Give someone a call, just to check in
This is very similar to the point made above. In business, we’re always trying to keep things “strictly business”. When it comes to building meaningful relationships however, you need to solidify the bond outside of the work place.
When was the last time you called a friend or business colleague simply to check in? Just to see how they’re doing? If you’re like most people, it’s probably pretty rare. This isn’t because we don’t care about those people, it’s more so that this hasn’t crossed our mind as much. After all, we sent them a Snapchat a few hours ago about the new puppy in the office. That’s enough right?
After you finish reading this article. Take the time to call at least one person you’ve met in business and give them a call. When they ask why you called, you can tell them you just wanted to checkin and say hi. You’d be surprised how far that’ll take you.
Be hasty with your responses
Sure we know that you aren’t on your computer or phone 24/7. However, most business people are within reach of a device for the vast majority of the day. Even better, we have access to all of our communication tools on most devices. This makes it super easy to respond to others when they reach out. So why does it always take so long to get a response?
Sometimes the person is truly to busy to respond. Most of the time however, they simply see the message and decide to respond later. Don’t be one of these people. If you see a message, you should always try to respond right away if you can. People like reliability. If you take a day to respond to a text, people may stop reaching out altogether.
This is one of the most important things you need to do if you want to build meaningful relationships in business. Ask yourself this. Would you rather spend time with someone who’s a total downer or with someone who’s bubbling with positivity? Okay I’ll admit, the latter can sometimes be a bit over the top but it’s still much better than negativity.
If you embody positivity it will influence those around you to do the same. If you’re the person who others come to get get lifted back up you can expect to keep people around for life.
If you’re looking to start building more meaningful relationships in business, make sure you don’t forget the six tips listed above!