Growing up, we all loved superheroes. Batman, Spiderman, Wonder Woman etc. They were all known for their special powers. But even Superman who didn’t need any gadgets didn’t have the relationship management powers. The only person I have ever heard of is Don Juan and even he was only known for his “special powers” with the opposite sex.
Psychological studies have shown over and over the strong correlations between support system and happiness. You need close, long-term relationships; you need to be able to confide; you need to have a sense of belonging; you need to feel needed and to give back.
But making friends or as the business world refers to it can be difficult. Here are some strategies to growing to be a relationship champion:
1. Be committed. It is true that “Eighty percent of success is showing up,” however many take this task lightly. If you show up but don’t make an effort to your cause, you are better off investing your time elsewhere in your business. The initial meeting is “huge” make an impression that develops a relationship.
2. Group to grow. There are so many groups out there. And with all the buzz of social media, groups are as quick forming as texting. Pick your groups according to your personality, your goals, your niche and your aptitude to be able to give. I heard once that one said, “all groups are good, because you just never know”. If this was the only task of your job, then this may very well be true. But time is money and we are all following our passion but also in business. If you are part of so many groups, there is only so much you can devote when it comes to giving back. So its not just about what’s in it for me, but also what I can do for others.
3. Leave assumptions at the door. I have seen the rolling eyes, the turning of heads, the looking away and so much more. We all know what assumptions stand for. But in business unfortunately because we are limited in time, we make that of ourselves more often. Don’t assume if someone doesn’t return your call, that they are not interested, or that when they walk in late, they are unreliable. Life is unpredictable. We are not saying all the time. But more often than we expect, for sure.
4. Take the time to ask rather than tell. Whether it’s in networking, or just office or boardroom lunch, we are accustomed to telling people about how we feel, our goals and intentions rather than asking. This is the central aspect of emotional intelligence; Being socially Aware. If you don’t ask, what makes you think they want you to tell?
5. Smile. Big surprise, studies show that the amount of time you smile during a conversation has a direct effect on how friendly you’re perceived to be. In fact, studies show that just by smiling, the nerves in your lip area can send a signal to your brain which produce happy feelings. Oh yeah, and It’s free too.
6. Follow-up. Everyone is busy. Everyone has a full life. What distinguishes you from others is your skills to follow-up. Genuineness in this is important. If you took the time to ask the right questions, you will have the content to follow-up on and make lasting connections, not just connections.
For this and other tips visit: www.centerforworklife.com/blog
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what challenges have you faced in networking? What input can you provide to someone that finds some of this challenging?