Relationships are important in business and in life. The sale of a product or service, support from stakeholders, the launching of a new program, productivity from employees, pricing from vendors, understanding from a spouse, good behavior from a child - all of these situations, and more, require strong working relationships. And, it seems like the harder you work at building those relationships the better the intended outcome will be.
So, how do you develop stronger relationships with those people that are important to you? Well, the first way, and probably the most important way, is through communication. You see, what you communicate and how you communicate can affect your ability to deal with life's situations. Poor communication may lead to misunderstandings, distrust, and poor outcomes.
Many experts believe that there is a direct correlation between the quality of communication and the quality of the relationship. Communication is quite complex. You communicate with every movement and action, often without even knowing it. Remember, even silence can be a form of communication. You also should be mindful of tone, remembering that a hostile tone could damage a relationship.
To avoid poor communication always discuss matters with those involved even if you think it is not important. Husbands are always making decisions that affect the entire family without discussing the matter with their wives' - Big mistake! The boss is always making decisions that affect the whole company without discussing the matter with their employees' - Big Mistake! Companies are always making changes to products without discussing it with their customers' - Big Mistake! So, discuss the small stuff.
Also avoid, at all costs, communicating in only one direction. In other words avoid communication where you are just telling people something. Sometimes you talk so much that you discourage the other side from listening - Big mistake! For communication to be effective it must be two-way. Listening is essential to communication.
And, avoid sending mixed messages. Quality communication should be consistent. Sometimes what you tell one person might be different from what you tell the next person - Big mistake! Sometimes what you tell one customer about price or delivery time may be different from what you tell another customer about price and delivery time for the same product. Big mistake! Be consistent.
In conclusion, if you desire a stronger relationship, begin with communication. This is done best when you accept the other person as part of your team or family; have quality talk with them often and frequently; talk WITH them and not ABOUT them; listen intently and consult them often on decisions that you are going to make. And, if you remember this advice, your relationships will strengthen and your probability for success will increase significantly. Please share with me your ideas for building stronger relationships?