By Amarachukwu Okpunobi
When you hear the word ‘relationship’, what comes to your mind? Relationships no matter how you device to view it is the bedrock of so many successful businesses and stories. You wouldn’t think that you can ascend the ladder of success without building first healthy and working relationships. Therefore this extracts from community too box. com, teaches how to build relationships and keep them especially for young business and creative people.
RELATIONSHIPS ARE THE GROUNDWORK
Often building relationships is the groundwork that must be laid before anything else gets done on a project. The bigger the project, the more relationships you will usually need as a foundation.
When you plan a project, you need to include the time it takes to build relationships into your plan. People need time to build trust. Whenever people work together, they need to have trusting relationships. When trust is missing, people usually have a difficult time functioning cooperatively. They worry about risking too much. Disagreements seem to erupt over no important reason. Investing time, resources, and one’s organizational reputation can be risky. At the least people want some return for their investment. They have to feel like you know them as a person, understand their interests, and will not let them down.
YOU ARE AT THE CENTER
Imagine a wheel in which you are at the hub or center and each spoke represents a relationship with another person. Does that sound egotistical? It doesn’t need to be. It takes a lot of spokes to hold the wheel together and the wheel is what helps move the initiative along. There is enough room in the group for everyone to create their own wheel of strong relationships.
The point is that you have to take the time to set up and sustain relationships. If you wait for others to establish relationships with you first, you may spend a lot of time waiting.
WHEN DO YOU BUILD AND SUSTAIN RELATIONSHIPS?
You do it all the time. If you take an extra five minutes to ask the person who is stuffing envelopes how they think the baseball team is doing this year, you will have built a stronger relationship.
Some relationships require more time than others. You may want to meet for lunch once a month with all the other directors of youth organizations in your town. You may need to meet twice this week with a staff member who has some built up resentment about the job. You may want to call your school committee representative every now and then to check in about issues of common concern.
HOW DO YOU BUILD RELATIONSHIPS?
Here are some tips for getting your relationships off the ground. Some of these ideas we learned in the first grade but, as adults, we sometimes forget.
Build relationships one at a time. Fortunately or unfortunately, there are no short cuts. Sending out a newsletter helps you keep in touch with lots of folks, but it’s no substitute for getting to know a real person.
Be friendly and make a connection. This may seem self-evident, but a friendly word or smile can make someone’s day. Try to find something in common: all of us want to have close connections with our fellow humans.
Ask people questions. People love to talk about themselves and about what they think. If you ask people about themselves and then take the time to listen attentively, they can become your fast friend.
Tell people about yourself. People won’t trust you unless you are willing to trust them. Tell them what you genuinely care about and what you think.
Go places and do things. When asked why he robbed banks, the robber replied, “Because that’s where the money is.” If you want to make friends, you have to go where the people are: picnics, conferences, events, fundraisers, parties, playgrounds, bowling alleys, little league games, bake sales, etc..
Accept people the way they are. You don’t have to agree with them all the time in order to form a relationship with them. No one likes to be judged.
Assume other people want to form relationships, too. Underneath the crabbiest looking person is often a lonely soul hoping someone will make a crack in their shell.
Overcome your fear of rejection. Most of us suffer from a fear of rejection, and there’s only one thing to do about that: get over it. If you want to form relationships, plan on being rejected some of the time. You will be richly rewarded the rest of the time with the new relationships you have made.
Be persistent. People are often shy and suspicious. It takes a while to win trust. You can almost always form a relationship if you stick with it.
Invite people to get involved. People want to become part of something bigger than themselves. Many people are looking for an opportunity to meet other people who share common goals. At the worst, people will be flattered that you invited them to join.
Enjoy people. If you genuinely enjoy people, others will be attracted to your attitude. People will more likely want to be around you.