Relationships and your success
Being able to foster good relationships with people is important for goal setting and a successful life as you will need to rely on other people along the way for support, advice, guidance and ‘favours’. Productive business partnerships can be made or lost on the basis of how well you get on with other business partners and even in your career – it’s not WHAT you know, but WHO you know!
Read this article on persuading others for more information…
But building a good relationship is not about kissing the proverbial butt at the expense of everyone else – and fostering partnerships with your peers and your staff is also vital for success, as it is these people who can help support you from the ground up and lift you to success.
In fact people who appear to only want a relationship with someone ‘important’ are seen through very quickly, and this trait isn’t viewed very kindly – particularly by the people you’re trying to impress.
So it’s important to build a relationship of some kind with everyone in your circle – some relationships will be stronger and more important than others, but it’s important not to leave anyone out of your circle – you never know when you may need to rely on them for something.
And of course the best thing about building partnerships is that it is enjoyable! Social activity is a stimulant and gives you a great buzz, and the best relationships are the ones where there is no obligation to provide or return a favour – you just enjoy each other’s company.
Be Seen Get Known Move Ahead is a good read on the importance of relationships.
This book will give you countless invaluable tips on how to be seen, get known and move ahead. The book shows you ways of building your profile that are so simple, so easy and so enjoyable.
Birds of a feather…
You’ve probably already realised that you like some people more than others and are attracted to some people more than others.
And like attracts like. Birds of a feather stick together! So, if you’ve done the DOPE Test, you will now probably start to realise that you naturally be attracted to the same type of bird as you. Doves like Doves. Owls like Owls and so on.
There are some interesting ‘exceptions’ to this though, particularly when it comes to working together:
- Doves get on well with each other, but they’ll both end up sitting in the same comfort zone if you let them! Doves won’t challenge each other to do better – they’ll just retreat into their own little world and talk about how they feel.
- Owls work well together until they disagree with the other owl over a technical issue. Because Owls are naturally logical thinkers, it is difficult for them to accept that there may be another logical explanation for something.
- Peacocks often think that other peacocks talk too much – that’s the pot calling the kettle black! Peacocks working together will often get distracted by socialising and it’s almost impossible to keep them on task!
- Eagles will be challenged by other Eagles. This can either work really well, with both Eagles feeding off each other’s motivation and energy – or it can be a battle of eagle-egos!
So, it may be easier to strike a rapport with the same type of bird – but this just puts you in a social comfort zone and doesn’t help you develop yourself. It’s important to build relationships with other types of birds to bring out the best in you – and vice versa.
In particular, Doves and Eagles are good for each other as long as Doves don’t get too intimidated. Doves can encourage Eagles to be more sensitive to the needs of others, and Eagles can encourage Doves to be more assertive and decisive.
Owls and Peacocks are also good for each other. Owls can help Peacocks get more organised and keep focused, and Peacocks can encourage Owls to take more risks and be more flexible.
So, when developing relationships with other birds [sorry, other people], it’s useful to know what type of bird they are. Sometimes this can be hard to workout, but have a guess based on the typical traits of each bird type and then…
- If you’re trying to build a relationship with a Dove – give them understanding, patience and attention, and be sensitive of their feelings. And if you are working with them, make sure you give them enough lead time on tasks and help them set deadlines.
- If you’re trying to build a relationship with an Owl – show interest in their logical explanations of things and encourage them to take action and be more decisive.
- If you’re trying to build a relationship with a Peacock – be social, but help them control their talking! Help them be more objective and manage their time, and get them to pay more attention to detail by discussing the detail with them.
- If you’re trying to build a relationship with an Eagle – be assertive! Encourage them to learn to listen and pay attention to detail.
So good relationships are a two way benefit – bring out the best in them, and let them bring out the best in you!
What bird are you? Tell us about it and help other birds like you understand who they are – or help other ‘birds’ understand YOU better.
The book People Styles at Work asserts that it is possible to overcome personality conflicts by understanding other people's differences instead of merely reacting to them emotionally. The book also gives an insight into how we are all different and how this affects the way we communicate.
Fostering good relationships
Good partnerships don’t just happen because you put two people together – they take time to develop. It takes time to figure out the other person [and for them to figure you out too], time to build a rapport based on common interests and attitudes, and time to build trust in each other.
So to foster a good relationship:
- Take the time to develop the relationship – catch up for coffee, give them a quick phone call or send them an email on a topic they’re interested in.
- Show genuine interest in their interests – their kids, hobbies, sports. This is also a good conversation started the next time you see them.
- NEVER criticise their kids, hobbies, partner or home.
- If you say you’re going to do something – do it! and if you don’t do it – apologise!
- Don’t be tempted to gossip about other people – they will lose trust in you and wonder whether you gossip about them behind their backs too.
- Don’t take them for granted and don’t abuse their trust – respect them and their beliefs.
It does take time and effort, so only tackle a few at a time.
And you just won’t like some people, but you may still have to work with them! And of course, some people just won’t like you no matter how hard you try. In these cases it’s not worthwhile pursuing a happy-daisy relationship, but it is still important to be able to work with them.
And do so in a professional manner. Resist the urge to be negative or change the way you behave around this person – treat them with respect and honesty, and perhaps discuss with them the obvious differences the two of you have and resolve a way of working through the issues.
It’s not about being best buddies [although you can do that too, if you develop a higher level rapport with someone] – it’s about developing a happy working partnership with mutual benefit.
Focusing on the most up-to-date theories of emotional intelligence, the authors reveal the structure beneath EI. The book combines EI and Neuro linguistic programming to offer a pathway to a more satisfying emotional life for the reader.
Ethics and etiquette
And as a final topic of discussion – ethics and etiquette have a role in developing partnerships.
You must always conduct yourself in an ethical and honest manner, and particularly so when dealing with people. Most people have good moral standards, so if someone is seen to be unethical in their dealings [whether it be business, social or other], they are not held in high regard.
Unethical people are not trusted or respected – and this is something you just don’t want. It’s a bit like karma – what goes around, comes around. And people with bad ethics will usually end up on the wrong side.
Good etiquette is also important – particularly in business. Etiquette is about being well mannered and treating others with respect. People with good etiquette are well regarded and respected, as a good etiquette projects the image of sincerity and honesty – a valuable image to have when building a network.
So be polite and humble [and apologise if you’re not], respect everyone [no matter who they are], offer your seat on the bus or train to frail people [and pregnant women], hold the door open for strangers, help someone who’s dropped their bundle in the street – and just be nice!
A good philosophy for good etiquette is “do as you would be done by.” - and karma is “be done by as you did”!
A pocketful of tips, tools and techniques to improve your emotional awareness and your ability to manage feelings - yours and other peoples.
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