Who does not love Technology?
Technology makes our job easier by saving time, increasing productivity, connecting us with more people than ever before!
But technology also makes relationships impersonal to an extent. To maximize productivity, we rely on available digital devices and sacrifice face-to-face interactions. We try to get things done over email or text and avoid meeting in person. We keep the relationships transactional and focus on getting things done.
And undeniably so, this kind of transactional relationship does improve our work efficiency and are unavoidable.
But to thrive at work and in business, you need more than transactional relationships. You need deep meaningful relationships that go beyond the spreadsheet numbers, or email exchanges.
These powerful relationships are the ones that will help you grow professionally and personally. They cater to the most basic human need of belonging, support, and friendship forming the biggest safety net for your career!
The stronger your relationships, the happier you are at work. Developing high-quality relationships have been positively connected to feeling safe at work psychologically. People who have strong workplace friendships tend to feel less isolated, more focused and loyal to their company, get sick less often and do not change jobs frequently.
If you are starting a business, forging meaningful relationships can lead to your next investor, next customer and happier employees who can take your business forward!
Difference between Networking and Relationship Building
Networking is more like speed-dating and can happen on a spur of the moment at professional conferences, online via LinkedIn and Twitter. Relationships are more of a long-term commitment and don’t happen overnight. It requires time and deliberate effort from both parties.
Networking can be one-sided with an intent to get something out of a connection. Relationships are built on mutual trust and respect for each other without too much focus on immediate returns.
To build strong relationships, you need to be culturally sensitive, respectful and able to relate to the other person either in skills or hobbies or any common ground.
As Maya Angelou said,
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
How do we create deep meaningful relationships?
Here are a few ways to consider:
Move from Transactional to Transformational Relationships
When the relationship is primarily task driven and made of surface interactions like exchanging emails and documents, then it is a mere transactional relationship.
Transactional relationships are essential and do lead to some success, whether it is purchasing something, consuming or feeling entertained. Ask any telemarketer or sales professional and they will tell you how important it is to reach out to and connect with intent to get results!
However, if you are aiming to make big changes in your life or career, you need to cultivate transformational relationships. Not having deep meaningful relationships at work can turn out to be a huge missed opportunity for professional growth.
Transformational relationships are built on a strong foundation of trust. That powerful force which binds people establishes loyalty and promotes mutual success.
Based on trust, this kind of relationship tends to be nonjudgmental, more giving without any expectations and they turn out to be uplifting in nature.
Transformational relationships will help you heal, grow and empower each other.
Build Relationships like Friendships
To create meaningful relationships at work, you need to treat your connections as your friends. If a friend is important to you, would you give up a friendship over a difference of opinion? Similarly, work relationships, when based on mutual trust, will endure more challenges and last for a long time even if both move on to new jobs.
When things go wrong, try to sort out differences and be more forgiving rather than dropping the ball altogether. Strengthen your bond through shared experiences and create value for each other.
A word of caution – Choose your relationships carefully and stay away from toxic people who bring negativity to the work environment.
Collaboration over Competition
Relationships tend to get stronger when both parties collaborate over a common project, have a shared goal and help each other succeed. Collaboration creates a ripple effect which will result in mutual successes and leads to growth.
You can even collaborate with your competition! As you both will have the same target audience, you can learn from each other rather than trying to outplay one another. By doing so, you will focus on what works best for you and your customers without bad mouthing the competition. Your customers will trust you more and based on this trust, you will be able to build strong relationships.
Find ways to provide value to your connections – volunteer for a project that may be helpful to others, share any interesting articles or research that you may come across which might be beneficial to your connections, be generous in providing your thought leadership or workplace advice.
Provide professional leads to your network – be it a job referral, project opportunity, speaking or writing assignments anything you feel is relevant and will help another person grow. Do not hesitate to reach out and extend a helping hand to your network. While you continue to provide value to your network, although your connections do not owe you anything, they are most likely to help in future given the strong relationship you have built.
Make facetime a priority
Go old school and do not rely purely on social media. A face to face meetings is a good way to forge deep personal connections. Get in front of your connections. Meet for coffee or lunches, go for a happy hour or even skype instead of a phone call.
Because at the core, people are looking for meaningful relationships that can result in mutual success and growth. Who would you rather do business with? Someone who you’ve only spoken to over the phone, or a person whom you’ve had casual conversations with? It is a no-brainer.
Don’t be an online entity. Get real with people!
Bringing it all together
As the working world saying goes “It is not just what you know, it is also who you know” – that matters. Whether you are in the corporate world or starting your own business, building meaningful relationships becomes the centrepiece of the puzzle and can do wonders for your work when matched with other success habits.
Once you start to cultivate and nurture those relationships, you will start to see the value, you will find the support you need to excel!
Deep meaningful relationships can lead to new businesses, new opportunities, and many more new connections.
Best of all, meaningful relationships built over mutual trust and respect will form your circle of well-wishers inspiring you to move forward in your success journey, helping you bounce back from failure and opening new doors of opportunity! Strong relationships will unlock the immense power of the pack to help each other reach their best potential and together, climb higher on the ladder of success!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I am a certified Career Coach and a HR professional helping people with interview advice, career tips and building personal brand. I enjoy blogging about better careers, productivity and self-improvement tips. My blogs have been published at Thrive Global, Fast Company, Social-Hire, Powerhouse Global Magazine and many other publications.
Here is my Writing Portfolio covering some of my latest articles https://ashrao.fyi.to/WritingPortfolio