Posts Tagged relationship tips
The last two weeks, I received at my place at North Easton,MA (USA) about 150 people for the celebration of my wedding to the most amazing person God blessed me to be with: My wife, Dr. Vanessa Estelle Fossouo. There were people everywhere, some people I haven’t heard of for more than 10 years, friends from high school, from college, for previous workplace… Other than my friends, lot of my wife’s friends were also there. One week after the wedding there are few names that seem to be unforgettable. People ask me about these few people, about where they live, how I got to know them, and more important it’s only with great appreciations that those names are pronounced. One of those people who wonderfully set themselves apart is my dear friend Dustin Adkison, the Corn hole guru. When I asked people around, why did Dustin impressed you so much that you have so great things to tell about him, the common response was: LEADERSHIP. Dustin built great relationships and connections with people because of his LEADERSHIP. Leadership is relationships…what is this about?
- Don’t wait for people to come to you, go to people. The one thing everybody noticed with my friend Dustin is that he wasn’t shy going to meet people he couldn’t talk with with because of the language barrier. Most of the guests at the wedding were French speaking people and seduced them was the effort of Dustin to overcome that barrier and to try hard to communicate and connect with them.
- Take some notes after meeting a new person and use your notes. Dustin, had an iPad and before the day before the wedding he was introducing himself to everyone and was taking time to take note of all the people he was talking with. He did show me the type of notes he was writing down and I could see information such as the full name, what the person does, how he connected with the person, the day and place they met, and special notes. The next day a the wedding, when Dustin was coming across someone he met with the night before, the approach was way easier and there was that little thing the two of them had because of the time they spent to the previous day to connect and the time Dustin spent to write note, read the notes and use the notes.
- Adapt yourself. When you go to places with different culture than yours, the temptation is to just look and not try to embrace that other culture. Dustin actually did embrace the culture he was surrounded with. The food, the music, the language, the people, the dance… We could all tell he was an alien to that culture but what was fascinating is that he behaved like part of it, he adapted himself to it.
- Take full responsibility. Taking responsibility is pretty much doing what Dustin did. It means accepting you are in a new
environment, it means you are surrounded by a culture different than yours, you are surrounded by people you do not know and have never met, buy instead of complaining about it, instead of staying along the wall or at the corner, you understand that you are the one who need to take action to get people to know you. Taking responsibility means to give your all and to expect nothing in return.
- Demonstrate respect and Kindness.
- Be persistent. If you’ve ever been abroad or been introduced to someone whose primary language is different than yours, then you know that pronouncing names correctly is a challenge. Most people easily give up after they tried twice. Dustin, wanted to make sure he get the right pronunciation. So he would ask people to help him get the right pronunciation of their names until he get that right and they were all flattered by the attention.
At occasion such as weddings or any other occasion where you can come across people you never met before, the opportunities to to grow your network, expose your business, find new customers come from your ability to be a leader in relationships. Leadership is relationship is about the heart not the head.
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
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?
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
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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You have about ten seconds before a person decides, subconsciously, whether they like you or not. Also, the image or impression someone has of you the first time the person meets you will last the next seven time the person will come to meet you. All that to show how important and delicate it can be to start and connect with a new contact. Whether you are in business, journalism, politics, or unemployed, it comes a time you need to solicit the service of attention of someone. It might be at a conference, at a meeting, during a plane trip, on the street…And yet, the person you are trying to talk to does not feel comfortable talking. What a pretty uncomfortable and awkward situation, isn’t it? There can be plenty of reasons why a person will not feel comfortable talking to you. Some reasons might be directly linked to you and some not. And of course, at the end of the day, if someone doesn’t want to talk to you, so what? Isn’t the world full of people to talk to? Yet, even if that last assertion is true, we can neglect or hide the shame we feel inside of us when addressing to someone, the person doesn’t feel comfortable to reply. To help you clear that issue forever, here are some tips that I’ve learned from the Relationship development expert Ketith Ferrazzi. Keith Ferrazzi is known as the youngest executive from a Fortune 500 company and he is also known as one of the most connected business man and entrepreneur in the US. Visit Keith Ferrazzi expert page at Act2be.com
How Do You Get Someone Who Doesn’t Know You To feel Comfortable Talking?
- First of all, share with the person a hearty smile. You probably read me on another post and I was pointing the importance of the smile. Smiling is such a relationship key when it comes to have a healthy connection with someone. By smiling, you send that message: “I’m approachable.”
- Have a good eye contact. Your eye contact must be balanced. Do not stand there starring at the person with your eyes wide opened as if he was coming from Mars, the person will be scared. Instead, keep an about 80% eye contact. An eye contact less than 70% of the time may make the person believes that you are not that much interested and have something else to do. A 100% of the time, again, will be a little bit scary for the person. The balance will at about 80% of the time to keep the eye contact.
- Look relax. So many times you will see people talking to someone else with arms crossed. To make the other person feel comfortable talking, you need to unfold your arms and look relax. Remember people tend to react according to your body language.
- Watch out for the distance between you and the person. Make sure you do not invade the other person’s space. When you do so, the person feel unsecured and uncomfortable and then the person will tend to step back to regain his distance. When respecting the distance between the two of you and showing engagement and interest by nodding your head and leaning in, the person will be more opened to keep up with you.
- Master your act of touching. Touching is such a powerful act. In Africa, shaking someone hand with your two hands is a tremendous sign of respect. Many people show that their intentions are friendly by shaking hands. If you are coming from a distance give a wave and a smile as you approach the person before shaking the hands.
Because relationship matters, everything has to be done to continuously empower them and the extra effort starts right at the beginning when getting the person you don’t know yet to feel comfortable talking.