The Old School Way of Building Extraordinary Partnerships
Business relationships and partnerships are a lot like marriages.
Some work and some don’t.
When I wrote Let Love in 101, I specifically geared it towards personal relationships. Only later did I realize the same principles could easily be applied to business relationships and partnerships.
Like all relationships though, establishing and maintaining a healthy relationship whether it be personal or professional is no easy fete and is most certainly not always guaranteed to be a success.
Real success, the kind with depth and degree, is impossible without building great relationships. Building true success will be incredibly hard to do unless you treat others with kindness, regard, and respect.
The key to successful relationships and partnerships boils down to four things.
Whether we’re sitting down with Marni Fuente, from HCC or any of other our community partners; one of the first things we ask is “What is your vision of this ribbon cutting event/laptop drive/tech incubator?”
As with all relationships, it’s crucial for each person to define the mission, vision of the project, or business venture.
Problems will inevitably rise to the surface if everyone is running in different directions. Sure, motives might be different for each person, but everyone needs to be on the same page when it comes to the overall objective.
Take time to discuss your vision and mission with your colleagues, potential customers, business partners and community leaders.
Answer the Hidden Question
Behind simple questions lies “the real question”; a question that often goes unanswered because it’s unasked. People who build great relationships inside and outside of their career think about what lies underneath so they can get to the heart of the matter.
When we’re in initial discussions with our community partners, often we get asked “What happens to the data on my laptop?”
The “real question” they’re asking is “Can I trust you?”
Always try to answer the question that is not asked.
People who build extraordinary relationships pay close attention to the actions of others, not just words.
They intuitively know when someone is struggling, even though that person could be saying “I’m ok.”
So the extraordinary relationship builder immediately rolls up their sleeves, takes action and comes up with specific ways they can help.
Because they’re trying to build a relationship?
Give and Receive
The person who builds great relationships and partnerships doesn’t think about what she wants; she begins thinking about what she can offer.
She views giving as a genuine way of establishing a lasting connection, not merely just a relationship.
Her approach to relationship building is one that makes it all about the other person and not about her. As a result, she ends up building relationships with people who follow the same style.
It’s a win-win for everyone.
The other day I was patiently standing in line at the grocery store witnessing something you don’t always see in this hurried day and age. In front of me was an elderly couple trying to find their way to a nearby restaurant.
They told the cashier “We don’t use those GPS things because we can’t figure out how to use it. Could you please tell us how to get to ABC Restaurant (I forgot the name of it)?
The cashier didn’t bat an eye.
“Sure, let me pull it up on my phone and see where it is.”
He proceeded to oh so patiently (and loudly) explain the directions to the couple.
The gracious couple was on their way after just a few moments.
I admired that. The guy behind the counter didn’t really have to do it. He could’ve just said “I’m sorry, maybe the customer service desk can help you over there.”
For just a couple of minutes the employee/customer relationship was transcended and it was about one human brightening another’s day.
No matter how minor and short-lived – every relationship, has value.
Building great relationships means treating every relationship in this manner.
About Jody Agard
Best-Selling Author of Let Love in 101; A Practical Guide to Love & Happiness Jody is a Spiritual Teacher, Relationship and Self-Love Coach