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Relationships for Keeps: How to Build Powerful Relationships in Business and Life

Relationships for Keeps: How to Build Powerful Relationships in Business and Life

“Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that many people enter into a relationship in order to get something: they’re trying to find someone who’s going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take.” —Anthony Robbins

I have the good fortune to know and work with many incredible organizations. And one thing that’s constant across all of these organizations is that within each, there are great people at all levels, titles, and positions. What is very rewarding for me is that I discovered many of these great people by taking the time to build positive relationships for keeps with people at all levels.

It seems simple, I know. But too often, we may pass by someone because they aren’t on the list of people we need to meet or connect with today. Don’t be too hasty. Slow down the process when allowed to meet new people. You will be pleasantly surprised!

Building Meaningful and Positive Relationships

This week’s blog is intended to offer perspective on when we meet, engage with, and ultimately build meaningful, positive relationships with people. This may take place in a virtual breakout session, at a workplace, social setting, your community, or right at home.

While it might be important to impress the CEO, it is a value mindset to build a relationship with everyone you work with and meet. Most people work within an organization that has more than one person. (You may be self-employed, a business owner, or an employee, but hopefully, you can relate to the message.) When you meet someone, do you focus on position and title only?

In late 2019 I published my second book titled: RELATIONSHIPS FOR KEEPS – How to Build Powerful Relationships in Business and Life. While it is available on Amazon, I will offer a complimentary eBook download at the end of this blog.

Over the years, people have told me I am a master networker or think I know everyone. In reality, that’s not entirely true. I just really value building lasting and meaningful relationships.

RELATIONSHIPS FOR KEEPS – How to Build Powerful Relationships in Business and Life

My book is about creating and maintaining positive relationships for keeps and the work required to make them last.

It’s the story of a fictional character named Joe Lanz, a likeable and coachable guy who dreams of owning his own business. He desperately wants to break free from the world of corporate bureaucracy. Along the way, he faces many personal and professional struggles. During his journey, Joe meets a man, Vic Lawrence, who is 30 years older than Joe, and over the years, they develop a relationship for keeps.

Unbeknownst to Joe, Vic will become a dear friend and mentor. Vic will teach Joe many life lessons, particularly about building strong, lifelong relationships.

Anyone can put themselves in Joe’s shoes at some point in their life. A business professional; a sales representative trying to grow their client base; a university student trying to build a network of people for future career opportunities; a partner who wrestles with an important personal relationship; or a struggling business owner who lacks the trusted network they hoped for when times are tough. Through all of our ups and downs in life, the people we have meaningful relationships with are key to helping us move forward and grow.

If you are in business, think of the clients you have a very solid relationship with. Ask yourself, “Why is that relationship so strong?” Do you have more one-on-one time with some than with others? Maybe you don’t have quite the same solid relationship with other clients. What can you do to change that?

What about your closest friends and connections? Ask yourself, “Why are we so close?” Do you really listen, share personal feelings, and build vulnerability-based trust with them? Who else can be drawn closer to your circle that you can help, or who, in turn, may be able to support you?

Positive Relationships Make All the Difference

I wanted to offer some insight into how we can all do a better job of building meaningful relationships with people at all levels and titles. There are only a few fundamentals that if you are patient and consistent and do them every time, the opportunity to build meaningful relationships will exist. (Remember… these fundamentals can work at home too.)

LRT = Like + Respect + Trust

“LRT” is an acronym that I use for Like, Respect, and Trust. I think that you must give it before you can get it.

How can you be liked? You simply need to be likable, but it’s not as simple as it sounds. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” applies very well in this case. I have had the good fortune of knowing many people from all walks of life, nationalities, gender, religion, and professions. I always seem to gravitate to people I like.

It may seem obvious, but I know of many people who seem to be drawn to controlling, grumpy, or rude people. I am not exactly sure why, but they are. And I hope they may feel the same way! The more people I spend time with that are likable, the more I want to hang out with them.

Respectful Equals Respected

We all need to be respectful…!

Respect is earned over a period of time, but it can also be given immediately. Show respect before expecting it in return. If you want to be respected, be respectful every time you interact with someone… it’s one of my life principles.

Be patient and allow it to happen over time. There is no time clock or deadline required when it comes to building meaningful relationships!

(On the topic of building relationships, here’s how to create positive relationships with customers that last)

Trusting Equals Trusted

How can you be trusted? What does trust look like to you? Do you keep your word? I know many people who do keep their word… and some who don’t. Are you someone that others can count on when needed? Do you do what you said you would?

Trust is the backbone of any personal or professional relationship that is for keeps. Without it, you don’t have a meaningful relationship.

“Learning to trust is one of life’s most difficult tasks.” —Isaac Watts

As I see it, if we are looking to build, foster, or improve a personal or professional relationship, try a little LRT. It can go a long way if you want to build positive relationships for keeps!

I cherish most of my relationships and want them for keeps—ideally forever. But there are no guarantees, of course. I will continue to keep LRT at the forefront of every relationship. I feel so strongly about this concept that I would give up my MBA to protect my LRT any day. It’s that important to me.

Other key concepts that have resonated with me over the years regarding relationship building come from leadership guru and best-selling author John C. Maxwell.

(Don’t miss this post next on the three essentials for building stronger, more valuable relationships)

Three principles for building positive relationships

His three principles for building relationships are:

  1. Connect: Connecting is all about others. As Maxwell stated in his book: “Everyone Communicates, few connect. When you are trying to connect with people, it’s not about you—it’s about them. If you want to connect with others, you have to get over yourself”. Give it a try this week while at work and when you get home for dinner.
  2. Act with intention: In every interaction, you have with people, you should ideally act with the intent of building a more meaningful relationship. This may occur at your place of work, the dry cleaner, the grocery store, or at home. Being aware of your intentions helps you in all situations. Think about your intentions the next time you interact with someone.
  3. Be genuine: The more genuine and natural you are in connecting and speaking with others, the easier it will be to build meaningful, positive relationships with people of all backgrounds, professions, and titles. If you’re like me and you truly value people, and you want to build relationships for keeps, it takes effort, practice, and focus. The above tips can work for you in all situations and all locations where you interact with people. Give them a try!

I hope that you found value in this week’s blog. As promised, I want to offer a complimentary eBook version of my Amazon bestselling book: RELATIONSHIPS FOR KEEPS—How to Build Powerful Relationships in Business and Life. Click here to access your downloadable copy.

Did you learn a lot from this post? Here are three more to read next:

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