Here they are folks, the top 3 ways to form lasting relationships in the workplace, with your clients — heck, in life!
1. Expectations and Assumptions Travel in the Same Circles
Meaning that both are closed-minded and terrible relationship builders. Though it may be hard, and I know it is, you have to get all zen-like and appreciate that people are the way they are and they’re not going to change. This is why marriages fail so often. One person has expectations that the other cannot meet and when they come to the surface; respect’s impossible for both parties to achieve. Assumptions are no different because you think you know it all… who they are, what they’re capable of, their personality type, what they think of you, etc.
Be open minded to each new encounter with friends, family and strangers and you’ll be the most revered of all your friends and coworkers.
2. Do Not Use a False Persona
This is almost as bad as expecting the world — or– assuming you know everything about a person. There’s a difference between having professional mannerisms and good social etiquette when you converse with others, and being a phony balogne. Say you’re entertaining a client at dinner and a good friend of yours enters that same restaurant and comes up to say hello. Suddenly, you become a different, a more laid back person who sounds to the client like a completely different person than you were just minutes before.
Trust me, no matter the end result, the client won’t trust you. Same if a friend of yours sees you…
Same thing for social situations. You can always tell that you’re the outsider in situations when you’re having a polite (perhaps somewhat rigid) conversation with somebody, then suddenly the other person’s friend or family member arrives and they begin to take on a whole different wavelength of energy than they had when just talking with you. Very common if you’re shy too. Shy people are particularly at risk because they often hold a lot of themselves back when getting to know people and even use their friends or coworkers to show strangers who they really are — but around others, they’re nothing but “stranger“.
I hope this makes sense to you who’re reading this. I Strive to be the same around everyone and everyone will like you more for it. Be vulnerable too — don’t clench your face up and never let your feelings show.
3. Offer Help Before Asking for it
Even a good manager knows enough to give their employee a compliment, or offer them a gift certificate to Starbucks, before they ask an already weary employee to work late…
… Men have to find a way to make a woman feel like she’s the only woman in the room before they ask them out for a date (don’t get me started on the number of ways you ladies can use kindness to get what you want!)
The point is that nobody likes to feel used. Some of us have a lower threshold for how many favors we’ll do before someone’s just a selfish user, right?
Even someone who’ll give the shirt of their back day in, day out to whomever asks them for it, nearly always know they’re giving more than they’re getting. Resentment is inevitable when dealing with a “user-type”.
Offer a compliment, theatre tickets… Wait, it’s 2015: Buy someone — or tell them about — a cool app that’ll make their life easier — then ask them for help.
I honestly believe these traits are the core elements that form strong professional relationships.
- Learn about people by getting to know them, not assuming you do already.
- Always be the best of who you are no matter who you’re talking to — the best in professional circles means not talking like a beer-swilling sailor!
- Don’t be a user — show you can give as good as you get.
Main image by Markus Spiering