Posts Tagged max-marc fossouo-motivational speaker

Team Building and Relationships: How Are They Related?

More and more, companies understand that the most important people of their business is not just their customers or clients but their own employees. If in the past, it was true to say “Customer is King”, today we say “Great people develop great companies.” Matter of fact, it cost more money to a company to replace an employee than it cost to look for another client. Yet we should acknowledge, it takes more than a good paycheck to attract, build, and more important to keep a great team of accountable and reliable people. Could personal professional relationship be a solution?

I’ve been involved in sales, team building and management for more than 7 seven years now, attended dozens of seminars about team building, and professional development relationships, and read lot of different books from various author like John C. Maxwell, Tom Hopkins, Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard…  All my professional experiences, readings and research make me to believe that personal professional relationships with every single key player of your team is at the heart of any team building and team work success.

How can personal professional relationships help you build a team?

When building up a team as a sales manager, business owner, or recruiter, you are selling ideas, your company’s ideas, your

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company’s vision and your goal is to have nothing but the best people in your team. Yet, what I found out or let’s say noticed, thanks to my experiences  is that only good people will help you to find good people to add in the team. So basically, the question is more about how relationships come into play to help find the good people. The best recruitment I’ve ever when working with the Southwestern Company between France and the US were the non-formal ones: the recommendations. The truth about recommendation is that no matter what it is for, you will not get a great recommendation from someone who dislike you or what you are representing. When you manage to have a great relationships with people of your network and they consider you as legit in what you do, they will be more than welcome to help you find the right people you need in your team. Matter of fact, most of the time you won’t even have to ask them, they will propose you their help and because of that mutual respect, they will let you access their address book. Referral services work the same way. Remember I said only good people will bring in good people? Well the same way only big buyers will refer big buyers. So whether is for team building or getting great profitable referrals, the key strategy and habit to cultivate is to manage and to qualify anyone of your contact list and have a professional and personal relationship with each of them.

One question that might come to your mind right now can be: so what if I have no relevant contact to start with, how do I build my team then. Well, if that’s is your question, I’d say you might want to go ahead and do what we call at the Southwestern Consulting: the everywhere you go approach. This technique basically states that you should introduce yourself and what you do to everyone you meet and talk to and see if they’d like to hear more about it. That technique is such a powerful tool of team building and relationship establishment in the sense that where you meet with the person can be anywhere (restaurant, in the bus or subway, at church, at a party) and makes then the place neutral which facilitates the conversation. Also, because the place is neutral and the conversation wasn’t anything schedule, there is no pressure when you introduce the subject, and at the end even if the person doesn’t jump in the boat, if you’ve established a great connection with the person, then he/she can be your doorway to have more numbers to call as referrals. Check out in the archive for some of my previous articles for tips and techniques on how to approach a person you don’t know yet, how to make the persona feel comfortable talking and more.

How can personal professional relationships help you push the team to perform?

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Now, it’s not enough to build the best team, you have to work with the team, help the team to be successful, and help the team to grow. How you do that is by having a personal professional relationship with each one of your team if it’s a small team otherwise each one of the team key players.

What do I mean by personal professional relationship? By personal professional relationships, I mean showing genuine interest to the life of your team players. Today, we know money does not motivate enough, what motivates is the support, the help, the feeling of “I am here with you” that the team leader shares with each one of the team. There is a little trick here: you don’t want to be or even to sound fake when you talk to people because sooner or later, it will start to show up. Showing genuine interest to your people shouldn’t be a homework but a sign that you do really care.

How do you build personal professional relationships with people?

  • Start by putting in your close network or team only the people you trust and that can strongly believe you can easily work with.
  • Tell people right at the beginning what is it like to work with you or to be part of your team. Tell them what they should expect and not expect from you.
  • Ask them in return, still right at the beginning, how is that they’d like to be treated. This works whether is a social relationship or a business relationship and the good thing behind it is that it avoids the pain bad assumption could have put on the table.
  • Do personal conferences. I set up my first personal conference with a team player when I was Organizational Leader at the Southwestern Company. One of the good point behind this one-on-one conference is that it’s not made to criticize or to blame but to help the two people talk freely about how they can help each other for better result. Even more, they can talk about real emotional and meaningful goals that will unlock their true potential. It’s at those personal conferences that you discover your teammate need to make money because his relative is fighting cancer and he/she needs to provide with the medicine, or you find out that he/she is going through a divorce and that’s why he/she had an attitude issue the whole week. Because these kind of sharing create strong relationships based on trust, I definitely recommend any manager, leader, or recruiter to have at least one personal conference per month with each key player.
  • Listen, remember, appreciate, and be available. You probably know they saying: “people don’t care how much you know until

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    they know how much you care.” Well, caring is listening; caring is to remember; caring is to appreciate; to care is to be available. If you understand that your team players represent your most important investment then you know you should care about them the same way you’d care about your biggest client: know what’s going on in their family, know their birthday, know their life goals and help them to achieve them, motivate and inspire them to greatness.

When I first entered the Coaching industry, I was essentially in the sales training but then I understood not only how relationships matter but also I started to notice mistakes people from all industries do everyday and hurt their career and life goals. That’s why I entered that niche market as a Relationship Strategist: to help people reach their goals by bettering their understanding of human relationships.

In this particular issue of team building and relationships my goal was simply to light you up on some proven tips and techniques and I read about, that I learned and experienced through my previous professional experiences, and that I apply everyday to make my business grow. I guarantee you, if you apply them, not only will you build a great team of accountable and reliable people, but also you will have a team of people who will stand for you and will do the impossible for you and the ideas you stand for.

Hit me up if you need additional advice and till then, remember: it takes leadership to master relationships.

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What Kind of Person Are You?

The poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox on the attempt to divide people into categories did a more tremendous job than what psychologists have attempted to. On a magnificent poem entitled “Which Are You?”, here is how she divides people into various categories.

There are two kinds of people on earth today;
Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.

Not the sinner and saint, for it’s well understood,
That the good are half-bad and the bad half-good.

Not the rich and poor, for to rate a man’s wealth,
You must first know the state of his conscience and health.

Not the humble and proud, for in life’s little span,
Who puts on vain airs, is not counted a man.

Not the happy and sad, for the swift flying years
Bring each man his laughter and each man his tears.

No; the two kinds of people on earth I mean,
Are the people who lift, and the people who lean.

Wherever you go, you will find the earth’s masses,
Are always divided in just these two classes.

And oddly enough ,you will find too, I ween.
There’s only one lifter to twenty who lean.

In which class are you? Are you easing the load,
Of overtaxed lifters, who toil down the road?
Or are you a leaner, who lets others share
Your portion of labor, and worry and care?

Source: Ella Wheeler Wilcox, “Which Are You?” Custer, and Other Poems (Chicago, W. B. Conkey Comapny, 1896), 134.

On man’s pursue of achievement, it’s important to understand the need to add in people’s life, man needs to do all the good man can, to all the people man can, in all the ways man can, as long as ever man can.

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Building Intimacy With Your Network

Network buildingIf you want to create a really dynamite network, you have to really follow through when you say, “I’d like to get to know you.” From my previous post (Make Yourself Unforgettable) I’ve shared the idea stating that each person we meet up with  or get introduce to represent a doorway to opportunity. However, enjoying the benefits of being connected to someone has some requirements. You need to be intimate. The more intimate the better the chances to receive what you ask. I remember from my Southwestern experience, the one thing managers could never stop saying at the beginning of a sales campaign was to make a friend first and a customer second. Also, for being in sales and in the training industry, the one pillar we always teach to sales people, managers, and leaders is that people do business with people they like. With that said, I bet you can tell why building intimacy with your network is so important. So what are one of the best ways to do it? Folks this Max, Your Relations Strategist, because more than never…RELATIONSHIP MATTERS.
Before I get to the “How” to build intimacy with your network, let me drop some lines again stating the importance of doing it. Intimacy makes you count as a family member, a privileged one. It helps you pass through the doors that are yet closed to the public. It helps you be on top of the information even before they get released. And more important, intimacy helps you get things done easier and faster.
There are two major warnings when you try to build intimacy whether with a client, a business partner, a decision-maker… The first warning is not to be own-interest-oriented, and the second warning is regressing once the intimate relationship is on the setup mode.
  • First Warning: the own-interest-orientation –  This issue is pretty much about breaking up the win-to-win philosophy and just looking at what you want to get out of your contact with no care of what you can bring. With hat kind of attitude, you will never never and never build any intimacy with a network. Relationship is all about giving, it’s about generosity. Yet as humans, we know we need help from time to time and that our network is a valuable asset we can have to find answer to our questions. However, if people sense that you are out there just to look for what you can get for yourself and have nothing to give in return , they will turn you down. Also, Creating a lifelong community of colleagues, contacts, and friends means committing yourself to a relationship to the entire individual, not just the business you’ll transact together.
  • Second warning : the regress – Once you’ve built that intimacy with your network, don’t regress. You need to always nurture the newer, deeper relationship. Failing at nurturing your newly established intimacy is like hiring someone, investing your time to train him and by the time you should have your return on investment you let him go. So many people succeed at establishing a good first contact but then they don’t follow up with the person or they neglect the hot button that helped to create the intimacy and reset their mind on a business-only-mode. As result the two people go cold.

How To Build Intimacy?

  • Understand it’s always the green light – Don’t be like most people, you wait to share anything truly personal about yourself until you’re absolutely positively convinced that you’re not going to be rejected. In building intimacy with someone, your mindset precedes you. You need to assume and be convinced that you can and deserve to be intimate with that person until the person turn to down. However, do not take it for granted. Building intimacy is nothing but a work in constant process.
  • What do you have to offer? – Like I said before, from my previous experiences I’ve learned that people do business with people they like. With that said as you work on becoming intimate to someone, you need to think about what you bring on the table that will make the person like you. That might be anything from your life style to your values, or enthusiasm. You need to possess one thing that the person will take in consideration in opening you his heart.
  • Watch out for details – Details are what makes the difference. Don’t take me to a theater if I rather go dancing, don’t talk about politics if I rather talk about religion. As people talk, they reveal key info about themselves that describe their personality and give you tools to use when you build the intimacy. Make sure you use the right tool and the best way to know about the right tool to be used is through listening carefully as they talk.

You want to be an ace at professional networking to boost you career, then remember that increasing true intimacy helps move you quickly to a deeper, more productive relationship.

I am eager to read the successes you achieved after building an intimacy with your network. What have you learned from it?

Folks, this was Max and remember…RELATIONSHIP MATTERS.

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