Is Building Relationships Important In Business?

Building Relationships

Is Building Relationships Important In Business?

Marc-Eddy Drouinaud Jr – 5 May 2017

You cannot do business alone. You need people around you to help you. Therefore, building relationships with people and sustaining them is very important. This is a fact in business. This article attempts to throw light on the art of building relationships.


Building Relationships

Become genuinely interested in other people:

This is golden rule to follow in building relationships. As an employer, inquiring about the well-being of others without having any kind of selfish motive can go a long way in cementing relationships. People will find this trait of you being genuinely interested in them as very endearing. A businessperson can close many deals by evincing a genuine interest in the client rather than extolling the benefits of his or her products or services.

Give the credit where it is due:

Business is teamwork. The hallmark of a great leader is that he or she should appreciate teamwork and give the credit for any success to the team. In this way, he can ensure the loyalty of the team members towards the company. When you have loyal employees, your business’s profits can sky-rocket.

Never criticize anybody especially in front of others:

Your employees are human too. They can make mistakes. Some of the mistakes can be detrimental to the interests of the company. If the intention of the employee is not suspect, it is always advisable to forgive the mistake and move ahead. In any case, you should never criticize him or her in front of others. You can speak to the person in private about the issue and make him or her realize the damage.


Call your employees by their first names:

Every person in the world is proud of his or her first name. Calling him or her by that name can have a tremendous effect on his or her psyche. It creates a special kind of bonding between the employee and you. As much as possible, try to remember their names even after they leave the company. This is one of the best ways of building relationships.


Understand the difference between flattery and praise:

Flattery is telling the other person precisely what he or she thinks in order to get benefits. For example, if you were the owner of a clothing store, flattery is telling a woman she looks nice in a dress in order to get her to buy it. Praise is what you think of him or her. Knowing the difference is the key to building effective relationships. Praise is handing out complements for no gain, praise is genuine. You need praise in order to build lasting business relationships.

10 Superstar Networking Tips to Grow Your Business

Busienss Networking Super Star

10 Superstar Networking Tips to Grow Your Business


1) Rock Your Appearance. Let your outfit be a conversation starter. Wear something that makes you feel like a million bucks and helps you radiate confidence.

2) Prepare Yourself Mentally. Know your purpose for being there. Be passionate about what you do and let it shine. What do you want to learn?

3) Show Up Early. Arrive with extra time so you can grab a coffee and get to know a few people before everything starts to get busy. Be on the lookout for people with whom you feel you can connect with and strike up a conversation with them.

4) Be a Giver. Have you ever met someone whom you feel wants to get something from you? It gives off a bad negative energy, doesn’t it? Avoid this from happening to you by shifting your energy to one of abundance and ask yourself how you can best serve others.

5) Ask for Their Business Card. It is always better to ask for the other person’s card. Asking for their card feels better than shoving yours in their hand.

6) Share the Event Socially. Social Media is a great tool for building and maintaining relationships. Take plenty of pics at events to share on social media.

7) Switch it Up. Try sitting with different people.  Sometimes the chit-chat that occurs before and after the event can lead to the best connections.

8) Step Up to the Mike. If there is a Q&A opportunity, step up to the microphone and let your question be heard. You’ll get a chance to introduce yourself to the whole room and get expert answers to your question.

9) Give a Testimonial. If you loved the event or a service, be vocal about it. Tell the event coordinator / service provider and offer a testimonial. You can also place recommendation on LinkedIn, Facebook or your networking site.  Email a written testimonial to the event host / service provider. They may post it on their website and give you exposure!

10) Love ’em Up. There is a Chinese proverb that says “A bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives flowers.” When you get back home after the event, the most important part is following up with and nurturing relationships you made.  Here it’s a strategy of quality, not quantity.  Narrow them down to the few people you had a real connection with and send a warm, genuine email.

Attending networking meetings, industry conferences or seminars keep you up-to-date with the latest changes that are occurring within your sector but equally valuable is the chance to meet other like-minded individuals and build connections that can last a lifetime.

Understanding The Art Of Relationship Brokering

Understanding The Art Of Relationship Brokering

Understanding The Art Of Relationship Brokering


By Carol Weaving

Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the fulcrum of our economic engine; not only in South African but across the African continent. In South Africa, they provide employment to about 60% of our labour force and they plug-in various gaps in a number of industry value chains, facilitating the effective running of said industries.


Equally important, SMEs are, as South African Reserve Bank Deputy Governor, Francois Groepe asserts, “an essential conduit whereby millions of people enter the economic and social mainstream of a society.”


Through small businesses, the everyman has relatively unfettered access to an otherwise cryptic and many a time, exclusive realm. At a time when our economy needs us all to pull and push together, they present an effective pathway to economic inclusion.

With this in mind, supporting small businesses could not be more urgent. In South Africa, SMEs make up 91% of formalised businesses and are responsible for 34% of our GDP. These are huge numbers that can be bigger the more support there is for SMEs.


We need platforms that facilitate entrepreneurship and small business growth, like the Small Business Expo which is the evolution of 20 years of Thebe Reed Exhibitions’ dedication to entrepreneurship.


The exhibition, focuses on facilitating relationship brokering between small business owners, entrepreneurs, investors, franchisors, corporate leaders and business hubs and incubators. Through effective relationship brokering, small business owners connect and support each other, and grow their establishments.


1. Know your own story, and know it well

Sharing your story – whether it’s your business proposition, your skill set or a project you are working on – is a determinant of successful relationship brokering. You have to know your story, and know it well enough to share it in a compelling manner. Your story is part of the collateral you leave any prospective business connections.


2. Relationship brokering builds social capital

Your own and the social capital of those around you. It’s a process that, when done right, builds your influence and profiles your authority. Not only do you get a chance for people to know you, but also for people to get to know what you do and the pedigree you possess as a business owner, entrepreneur or professional. You position yourself, on an uninterrupted stage that is formal yet relaxed and personal.


3. Relationship brokering is about building sustainable communities of people and businesses that complement each other

It’s about fostering collaboration where synergies exist and enabling connections where business opportunities exist. Beyond that, a successfully built community becomes the support structure to members of its network.


4. Build and maintain bridges

Don’t put yourself first. Pay attention to your business associates and connections. Ascertain their needs and assist them in addressing those needs. During that process, you profile your own skill set and showcase what you and your business can do. This is important as relationship brokering is only self-serving to a point. If it becomes a one-way street, connections crumble because no one wants to be involved in a one-way relationship.


5. Relationship brokering facilitates sharing

Relationships are about mutual value and this mutual value is not only monetary but also about shared objectives, visions and ambitions. This connection must allow parties to draw value strategically for the outcome of a business endeavour or opportunity. The shared value can include knowledge, skills transference or specialist experience – whatever the attribute, achieving mutual value is the objective of the relationship.


6. Quality trumps quantity

Relationship brokering is not a business card collection contest after all. Focus on those businesses and personalities who are stakeholders in your industry’s value chain. Always remember that one quality business relationship surpasses a rolodex of business cards who have no link to your work or industry.


7. Do follow up. Do reach out

Many of us do more than enough sharing of contact details but not enough following up and reaching out. Follow up to legitimise the connection and start building a relationship.

Workplace Communication: How to Avoid Screwing It Up

Workplace Communication: How to Avoid Screwing It Up

By Eileen McDargh

Human language separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. But too often, we respond to the wag of a dog’s tail instead of the message given by the CEO. There is a breakdown in workplace communication.

Here are four sure-fire ways to get a message across, remembered, and repeated.

Use Real Language Instead of Ad Copy

Ad copy might be punchy but it only seeks to invite the viewer or reader to seek more details. That is often not possible in our 24-7, get-it-down-now world. Martin Luther King’s speech would have vanished into history if he only said, “I have a dream”. Real language fleshes out both the intent and the possibilities the sender wants to convey.

It is not filled with puffery and pompous language but rather words that allow people to see what the person is saying. For example, King gave specific examples of what that dream would look like such as slave owner and former slave breaking bread together.

Workplace Communication Through Symbols Instead of Spread Sheets

Numbers, P&Ls, and statistics are fine but they are not remembered nor repeated. Instead, the use of symbols carries far greater impact. For example, one manager walked into a meeting and dumped a pile of manufacturing parts on the table. He said, “This is the crap that keeps breaking. How are we going to fix this?” You can imagine the look on the faces of his peers.

In the amazing story of Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic Expedition of 1914, when the ship was crushed by an expanding ice pack, Shackleton determined rescue might be possible with a sled march to the ocean. This could only happen if every nonessential item was discarded regardless of value or emotional attachment. Shackleton reached inside his parka and threw away gold sovereigns and a gold cigarette case. The symbolism was not lost on his crew.

Use Storytelling Instead of Telling

Facts tell and emotion sells. Stories capture our emotion more so than a straight recitation of facts.

I was hired to create a report for a biotech company. The purpose of the report was to attract potential employees. Instead of talking about benefits and employment practices (although that was put in as an addendum), I interviewed employees about what they saw was the value of their work. To hear someone relate what it felt like to meet the recipient of a heart valve or to listen to a parent talk about their child’s recovery because of a device delivered a powerful response.

Use Dialogue Instead of a Discussion

The word “dialogue” means “through words.” The word “discussion” has the same root as “percussion” which comes from the Latin: “to beat”. So let me ask you, which would you rather have: a dialogue or a discussion. Discussions are heavy and often imagined as one-ups-manship with a winner at the end. On the other hand, a dialogue is exploratory, seeking to understand various viewpoints. Dialogue is a free-form give and take. When a leader sits in dialogue, the Biblical precept comes to mind: “Seek first to understand rather than be understood.”

All of these forms of workplace communication take conscious practice. Unlike some so-called leaders we see today who shoot from the mouth and are perceived as screwing up their message, a true leader works diligently to craft clear and compelling communication.

It is all in the intentional practice and commitment to behave as a true leader that real communication is achieved.

© 2016, The Resiliency Group. Publication rights granted to all venues so long as article and by-line are reprinted intact and all links are made live.

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Do You Lead Your Team By “Age”, By “Stage” Or By The Seat of Your Pants?

Do You Lead Your Team By “Age”, By “Stage” Or By The Seat of Your Pants?


By Paula Morand

How can your corporate leadership style fit everyone in your group when your employee base ranges from wired-in-20-somethings fresh out of school to seasoned professionals with decades in your industry?

No doubt your organization benefits from this range of talents, but keeping them all connected and motivated can be a monumental challenge. You can’t even generalize all that much because the range of personal communication styles and work preferences in each age group today tends to fluctuate wildly.

So how can you as a leader get across the priorities of the day to such a wide base and keep the full team moving in sync, motivated and on target? Why not try this radical approach: meet your workforce at the “stage” they’re at, not the “age” on their driver’s license?

Let’s look first at communication. Technology rules the day regardless of what you may personally prefer, so it’s time as a leader to fully embrace all the systems you have at your fingertips. The “age” of your employees is not as important as the “stage” of technology each of them have embraced. Become the kind of leader who is equally comfortable using a combination of types of messaging, but ensure that each message conveys the same order of priorities and clear expectations.

This approach might call for duplication of effort, and some rather creative crafting, but think of the benefits. Anyone who likes bite-size 140-character missives is happy to hear from you. Those who like a full email message to refer to and respond to also get what they want. Internal message blasts or succinct posts to your intranet – yes, they got it!

In other words, post where people see it, using a range of media options so everyone feels connected. Just keep it consistent, timely and responsive. Maybe this creative approach is not your thing? Then assign a communication specialist to help you with crafting, posting and tracking interaction because communication today goes both ways. Be prepared to react to feedback immediately.

So the message is out but what’s next? How about motivation? As you probably know already, what’s appealing to the 20-somethings, mid-careers, and your mature workforce can be as different as night and day. Then you find out that not every 20-something is like their peers, and mature employees aren’t all about retirement dreams and exit strategies.

When it comes to motivation, everyone seems to click to different things. So again my advice is to think less about “age” and more about “stage”. The “stage” someone is in at work reflects their state of mind and their stage tells you more than their birth date ever could.

If someone is building career skills in a specific area, they will be motivated by opportunities to grow and ways to learn more. If someone is settling down in their personal life, regardless of their age, they’ll appreciate perks that work for their new lifestyle and which allow them sufficient time with their partner and to enjoy a satisfying personal life.

For people who have committed 10 or more years to your group, regardless of their age, many of them are at the “stage” where they are looking for upward mobility and ways to gain position and prestige. If you don’t offer enough progress for them, they’ll look elsewhere, and they’ll soon be looking at you and your company through their rear-view mirror.

The solution is to develop motivational strategies to meet your valuable employee assets at the “stage” they are at. Offer incentives that are geared to motivate them at the current point they are at in their career or lifestyle, and build on what works best.

Anyone might love an á-la-carte benefits list, flexible time-off, or remote work options but they do so for very different reasons. Perhaps they’ve got their eye on a mission trip overseas before their 30th birthday. Or they need a little extra time off each month to take care of an aging parent or a spouse going through cancer. Might be that they share childcare duties with a spouse on shift-work and coming in at 9:30 a.m. improves their life drastically, keeping them very highly motivated.

In summary, today’s technology and lifestyle choices have trumped the demographic divide so it’s time to ensure your leadership style meets the stages your employees are at, and doesn’t just program to the years spent on this earth.

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