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"The top reason for a leader's failure is the inability or unwillingness to build relationships and a team environment, according to global survey data released by Right Management."
For my friend, Elizabeth, growing relationships is just a natural part of life. I'm different, it's easy for me to get wrapped up in the doing and let the relationships go. What Elizabeth does unconsciously, I have to do consciously. Here's what I've learned from a lifetime of trying to do a better job of developing relationships.
Relationships take time. There's no way around it, there's no quick fix, sure-fire program or magic potion. You have to make the time to grow relationships.
Relationships are perishable. You can't stay out of touch for a long time and expect to pick up right where you left off.
You have to grow relationships at retail, one person at a time. That means spending time with people if you want to have a relationship with them.
Conversations help relationships grow. That's how people develop relationships. We talk to each other. I've found that it's important for me to count my conversations. Elizabeth thinks that's silly, but it's the only way I've found to make sure I have the conversations that are the lifeblood of relationships.
Relationships aren't only about transactions. Some of my conversations start about business and then include some personal stuff. Some have no business at all. If you always show up with an agenda, people will figure out that the only reason you're there is for what you can get.
Help people succeed. For years, Zig Ziglar has touted this as the way to success. He's probably right about that. What I know is that helping other people succeed is one important way to develop a relationship, and one that's easy for me to understand. It's also immensely gratifying.
Help people look good. Help people look good to their boss and their friends and everyone in the known world.
Boss's Bottom Line
You may develop relationships naturally like Elizabeth or you may be more like me. Whatever the case you need to do what's necessary to grow relationships.
Wally's Working Supervisor's Support Kit is a collection of information and tools to help working supervisors do a better job. It's based on what Wally's learned in over twenty years of supervisory skills training. Click here to check it out.