Are You in the Relationship Business?

Are you in the relationship business? Of course you are. Everyone who has to work with, deal with, sell to, convince, is! Unless you're on a deserted island, you must connect with, interact, and influence people every single day. Building relationships today mean better business tomorrow.

Successful business and professional leaders know their #1 objective is getting their quality products and services out the door to those who will buy or use them. Unfortunately no leader can just wave a wand and make it happen. They have to rely on people-employees to work with them, vendors to supply them and customers to come to them. These leaders are not just good but GREAT at building relationships because they practices these three rules.

Rule #1:
It's what you think. Not surprisingly, successful leaders strongly believe in the value of building relationships with others inside and out of their organization. If they didn't think relationships make a difference to their professional or personal success, then why would they make the effort? Connecting with others is high on their priority list. How much effort are you making to connect with others?

Rule #2:
It's what you pay attention to. Successful leaders make the time to get to know others, ask about their problems and acknowledge their ideas. Identifying shared interests, experiences and goals develops rapport and also builds long-term trust. Are you taking the time to really get to know your staff, co-workers, suppliers and customers?

Rule #3:
It's what you do. The art of relationship building is like a simple piece of string. Pull it and it'll follow you wherever you want. Push it and it will go nowhere. The same concept applies when it comes to influencing others. Super leaders build allies not enemies. They are approachable, have a knack to 'tune in' accurately to the needs of others and, most importantly, follow through. Do you build allies or enemies with those who you need t inspire, influence, or do business with?

Remember, winning relationships are keys to professional success. Skill in building and maintaining business relationships are valuable not only to sales people but to everyone from the shop floor to the top floor and everything in between.

Take a Quick Look.
Think of someone whom you have a great relationship with - a friend, neighbor, co-worker, client, or even a boss. What makes it great? Why is this relationship important to you? What do you do to make it work? What does the other person do to make it work? How can you take this learning and apply it to other relationships you have in your personal and professional life?

Marcia Zidle, the 'people smarts' coach, works with business leaders to quickly solve their people management headaches so they can concentrate on their #1 job ­ to grow and increase profits. She offers free help through Leadership Briefing, a weekly e-newsletter with practical tips on leadership style, employee motivation, recruitment and retention and relationship management. Subscribe by going to http://leadershiphooks.com/ and get the bonus report "61 Leadership Time Savers and Life Savers". Marcia is the author of the What Really Works Handbooks ­ resources for managers on the front line and the Power-by-the-Hour programs ­ fast, convenient, real life, affordable courses for leadership and staff development. She is available for media interviews, conference presentations and panel discussions on the hottest issues affecting the workplace today. Contact Marcia at 800-971-7619.

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