Building professional relationships can be intimidating, especially when you don’t feel well prepared. The trick is treating these relationships no different than the ones you have cultivated in your personal life. You want to treat people fair, honest, and most importantly, nicely. No relationship worth keeping should include the foundation of lies. Take a look at these six tips on how you can start building professional relationships that last!
Tips for Building Professional Relationships
#1: Maintain a Positive Attitude
Look at where your attitude is. The state of your attitude is where you can find yourself making your relationships. If you are in a negative headspace then of course the relationship you are trying to make isn’t going to be thrive. Where your thoughts are, you will soon find your actions following.
Be sure you maintain a positive attitude in everything you do, as people are attracted to positive, good people. It’s rare to see businesses want to interact, let alone hire employees, with low morale and negative attitudes. How you interact with others speaks volumes in the types of relationships others would want to have with you.
Countless times people observe others before actually engaging with the person themselves. When you have a positive attitude it attracts people to want to form a relationship with you. Being a sweet, positive person is like a bee to honey, and as you know – you get more bees with honey!
Your attitude, like your work ethic, leaves a lasting impression with people. Usually it isn’t what you do for folks, but how you make them feel. When your attitude is stinky no one wants to be around you. If the shoe is on the other foot would you want to be around a person with a nasty attitude? I can assume the answer is NO. Keep in mind the golden rule; treat others as you would like to be treated.
#2: Be Open
The first impression is usually the most lasting. Why start off building your professional relationships on the wrong foot? Remember honesty and being open is key. Of course, spilling the tea that you cheated on your sixth grade-spelling test is not the best convo starter – but it is important to stand in your truth.
Do not feel pressured to speak a certain way or fake the funk of where you are in your career. Many times your colleagues are either in the same or similar situation or have leveled up and are in a position to give you some sound advice. We live in a society where people feel like they have to live a lie and not be themselves. The truth of the matter is people that are unique are the hardest to come across.
Being open can be tough for most people. As long as you are not being someone you truly aren’t, then you should be fine. Do not feel pressured to share your deepest darkest secrets as you are trying to build your professional relationships.
#3: Share knowledge
When you are conversing, it’s important to listen, and not be too quick to speak. When you listen, you’re able to hear what the person is truly saying, giving yourself the opportunity to share the appropriate knowledge. In any relationship, you give and you take. When a person feels they can count on you or can lean on you for advice, it helps the relationship grow in an upward direction.
No one wants to feel like a relationship is one-sided, so in order to build your professional relationship, remember to bring something to the table as well. Whether that is connecting other relationships together, or having knowledge in a particular field that could be of some assistance.
You don’t have to be a walking encyclopedia, but it is nice to keep information about the company in your back pocket for conversational purposes. Whether it was facts from a recent board meeting, or something you read online that was credible. Share those facts with your co-workers because they may not be known to everyone and can help with future decision-making.
#4: Exceed Expectations
It’s always a good rule of thumb to under promise and over deliver. The last thing a person wants in a relationship is someone who is not dependable. When you are able to exceed expectations, it only works in your favor.
By setting reasonable expectations with folks you are in business with, you are able to put yourself in a position to completely impress them with the final project. Moving forward, the foundation has been laid in the relationship as you being viewed as someone they would like to continue to work with in the future.
Exceeding expectations is rather easy to achieve. The key is to not overextend yourself and know your personal limits. When you under promise you are giving yourself some wiggle room to make something great happen.
#5: Communicate Effectively
The root of every successful relationship is communication. Communication is the one tool that allows us to interact with each other whether it’s romantically, professionally, or platonically. All relationships communicate and should have a healthy form of communication.
It’s important that your business partners feel comfortable to engage in open and honest conversation with you, just as you should be able to do with them. Effective communication, along with timely interconnection is just important.
When communicating amongst your co-workers, you want to hold yourself in a certain manner. You do not want to come across as arrogant and annoying. People generally prefer a person who is easy to talk to and not so judgmental. Being yourself makes communication much easier.
Lastly, effective communication does not involve assumptions. Do not take the little things for granted and that means assuming. When you assume something it usually turns out to be the polar opposite. Communicate what you expect so the receiving person has no room for misinterpretation; and vice versa.
#6: Don’t Take It Personal
The masses may come together and agree that many times we may want to form relationships with everyone, but everyone may not want to form a relationship with us. Guess what – it is okay!
It’s perfectly fine that everyone does not want to build with you, go into business with you, let alone share the same office space with you. The relationships that are destined for you will grow organically. Do not take it personal if individuals do not want to build deeper connections with you. At the end of the day it is their loss, and when that day comes when they do come to their senses, it will be your decision if you even want to associate with them.
As we are all humans, we tend to get sensitive and take things personal. In fact, what we should do is learn to take a breather from time to time. Get out of our own heads and know that just because someone doesn’t want to have a relationship with us – it is not the end of the world. There are a million other humans who you can form professional relationships with; one person not wanting to be one is perfectly fine.
Related: 4 Ways to Win Over Your Co-Workers
You can achieve all of this by getting out of your comfort zone. Building relationships starts from within. When you have worked on yourself and no longer worry about what others may think of you, you achieve a level of confidence that no one can strip away from you.
What tips would you share with others who would like to work on building their professional relationships? Have you tried any of these tips, if so how did the outcome turnout? Be sure to check out our Facebook page and join in the conversation. If you haven’t already followed us on our Twitter & IG page @citygirlsavings.
The CGS Team