Some time ago, John McGuirk said, “The ability to form friendships, to make people believe in you and trust you, is one of the few absolutely fundamental qualities of success.”
I agree. If you’re trying to lead a company, build a team, sell to a client, or improve your home life, you’ll have a lot more success if you know how to build relationships with all those people.
Fortunately, relationships are not a matter of chance. They are a matter of choice. They depend more on you than the other people. Here’s what you can do.
1. Make Relationships a Priority.
You tend to achieve your top priorities. So even though it may be hard to find the time, you’ve got to make your personal and professional relationships a priority. If you don’t, relationships tend to die—just like businesses tend to die.
2. Be a Giver.
Be kind without expecting kindness. Be giving without expecting appreciation in return. As the great Roman philosopher Seneca reminds us, “There is no grace in a benefit that sticks to the fingers.”
Quite simply, when you give to others, more often than not they give their cooperation, their productivity, their business, and their loyalty in return.
3. Be Appreciative.
Everyone has qualities that can be appreciated. An old Arabic saying states that a real friend is one who blows the chaff away and nourishes the seed which remains.
How true! Everyone has some chaff or some unlikable qualities. They’re not hard to see. But when you are appreciative, you overlook the unlikable qualities–if possible and if appropriate–and recognize the good things you notice.
Perhaps no one said it better than TV star Donna Reed. As a youngster I used to watch her television show, a good, clean, upbeat family show. As an adult I remember her wisdom. Donna said, “When you handle yourself, use your head. When you handle others, use your heart.”
An Action Step.
Select two people with whom you want to build a stronger, deeper relationship. Then select two helpful things you could do for each of those individuals. Do those things without any expectation of a returned favor. You’ll be glad you did.
About Dr. Alan Zimmerman
At the age of 7, Dr. Alan Zimmerman was selling greeting cards door-to-door. By age 14 he owned a small international import business. By age 21 he was teaching at the University of Minnesota, and during the next 15 years, he was selected as the Outstanding Faculty Member by two different universities.
At age 36, Alan had retired from teaching and opened his own speaking and training company. That position has allowed him to deliver more than 3000 programs, to more than a million people, in 49 states and 22 countries. The National Speakers Association has named him a Certified Speaking Professional and inducted him into the Speaker Hall of Fame, which places him in the top 1% of speakers worldwide.
Dr. Zimmerman will be speaking at IMS Boston on September 23, 2020. You can find more information HERE.