Professional relationships have the power to grow your career or business. Strong and meaningful relationships always start with trust and go on to open the doors for business or career opportunities.
Deep-rooted work relationships enable new customer acquisition, first-hand access to job vacancies and capital. You can also feel a stronger sense of purpose, engagement and productivity if you share great bonds with colleagues.
Isn't that a good enough reason to cultivate one?
From establishing firmer bonds with your team to achieving business success, use these tips to build and maintain a stronger professional relationship.
#1 Identify people/networks that work for your work
Not everyone can impact your career or business. You need to identify meaningful networks or people who share the same goals as you. Join a network that has people who are aligned with your career or business and not drastically apart.
For instance, not everyone in your office can contribute to your career growth. Identify the departments and people who can. Work on nurturing these relationships.
#2 Time = asset in forming relationships. Invest it!
If a strong relationship can open up business opportunities, it only means that it's worthwhile. And as you know, anything worthwhile requires time. Dedicate time to attend networking events. Hold weekend gatherings with colleagues and clients. And if you think it's too much, do not feel overwhelmed.
You can begin by something as small as replying to their LinkedIn posts. Or, send a customised WhatsApp message on a significant event in their life such as career promotion, bagging a new project, successful completion of an old project, etc.
#3 Learn to own up to your mistakes
The quickest way to make enemies in an organization is to not accept your mistake and blame it on a coworker. To err is human. It's also human to own up and rectify any blunders. Rather than brooding over your weakness, leverage your strengths to fix.
When you say a simple word like - "sorry", "my bad", "apologies"..., instead of justifying, people like it and respect it more. You will only gain respect and trust out of your colleagues or boss. Remember, all strong relationships start with this timeless 't' word - trust.
#4 Be ready to offer solutions
A relationship is always two-sided. It cannot only be about serving the 'self' or boasting about your achievements. You will need to also think about the other person's benefits. Try to evaluate if your skills and business can help them solve their business problems.
Once you start solving business professionals' and colleagues & boss's problems, they will start noticing you. They will want you and depend on you. It is a good news as it will help you take your career graph higher.
#5 Listen more
To ensure the other person's interest and build better professional relationships, it’s important to listen to them. Build on your ability to listen to different perspectives of people. Carefully listening helps you understand and get more clarity about them. At the same time, people like you more for listening to them.
When you listen, silence your inner thoughts, do away with your assumptions, and don't judge. When you do this, people will only trust you more and you will have greater authority in their lives.
#6 Emit positive energy
Nobody likes to be in the company of someone who drains them – mentally, emotionally or physically. If you can recollect how you met a new employee, neighbour or somebody in an event; and just how lively you felt after speaking to that person. You must have a positive approach in life before you can spread share this positive energy with others. How to do that?
Simple, find 2-5 happiest people around you and make friends with them. Spend more time with them. Staying with happy people will make you happier and grumpy, grumpier.
Motivational books and podcasts and you become a more affirmative individual.
Go back to the beautiful nature and be the more positive and rejuvenated being.
All this show up in your demeanor, your tone and more people will like being around you and your positive vibes. Your positivism will light up your workplace, when your intent & tone is driven towards the betterment of the people around and work at hand.
#7 Be consistent
Making professional friends is one thing and maintaining their relationship is another. People mostly, due to lack of time are unable to nurture relationships.
People tend to make time 'only when they can'. In order to have strong professional relationships, It is crucial to nurture relationships than just meeting a person once and random greetings.
So, I always advice to go strategically about maintaining relationships. Create a roadmap for your first 5 most important relationships. This will include minor details like, why, when, & what - why you want to meet that person, when ( at what intervals) and what will you talk (your agenda or no agenda).
#8 Show gratitude
Being recognized for ones effort is one of the most innate human desires.
According to a research by Forbes, companies that built "recognition-rich-culture", reported 31 percent lower turnover.
You just can't imagine the power of a simple "thank you'. When you recognize someone for the good work one has done, it builds strong bond. You can express your gratitude and say thanks in many ways.
Be it a small gesture like congratulating on the great work, sending a flower bouquet or even talking about them on social media ( only if you think that person likes it) etc, you can find your own unique ways of thanking people. Gratitude has the power to not only fortifying your relationships but also making you a better person.
As you boost these relationships, always be transparent and genuine. Remember Strong professional relationships work as a pillar for your success.