Building, tending, and growing relationships in any aspect of your life are critical for success. Working on relationships is something that should be intentional and focused and not something that is simply done when you have the time.
Creating a plan to work on both professional and business relationships in 2019 is a terrific goal. This is more than just Tweeting once a day or spending 20 minutes posting articles on LinkedIn. It is also more than committing to a date night with a partner or spouse the first Thursday of every month. It is about creating the ongoing, sustained and nurturing elements that all relationships need not just to survive, but to continue to thrive.
To assist in creating an awareness of the relationships around you, there are several strategies, suggestions, and tips to get you started. Picking and choosing from this list, and also adding your own ideas, will help you to place value and importance on the people in your life.
- Commit to real communication – rather than just posting something to social media, take the time to send a personal message to the individual. Let them know you are interested in learning more or perhaps suggest another related article or a study you have read.
- Provide meaningful recognition – avoid template types of responses to recognize something amazing people in your personal and professional life have achieved or accomplished. Send them a card, write a personal email or give them a phone call. For those closer to you, make a point to congratulate them in person, take family members somewhere special or provide a gift that lets them know you noticed their achievement.
- Be curious – ask people about their lives and be curious. This is not just about customer relationship management strategies, but it is about learning about them as a person. When you can authentically talk to customers, suppliers, employees, neighbors, and friends about these meaningful issues, you are nurturing the relationship.
- Accept and honor emotions – it can be easy to become “all business” in both personal and professional communications. By talking about appropriate emotions and by opening up, you can develop a deeper connection on a human basis. Caring and empathy go hand in hand with developing a strong connection between people, even in a professional or business setting.
- Become a listener first – listening is a forgotten art as everyone is trying to get his or her opinions and ideas out to the front. By learning to sit back and listen, people feel respected, heard and valued. This is such a lost art in both business and personal communication that having someone spend time listening can be an incredibly powerful experience for those you communicate with on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
The key to becoming a person who nurtures relationships is to make this a priority in your life. Be mindful of the people in your life. Find a way to intentionally and positivity support your relationships for truly amazing connections with those around you.