How to build spectacular relationships

When a Director once gave a talk on the importance of developing relationships, I was left thinking I had to buy someone a gift. Maybe it isn’t too far from the truth. When developing skills that can influence a relationship, having a giving attitude is what can help make them spectacular. Find out here how to build spectacular relationships.

How to build spectacular relationships


The most powerful initiator in building a great relationship is recognition. I am not talking about a front-page editorial in the weekly rag. This is all about being present for the other person at every interaction. Listen thoughtfully, reflect ideas and interests that are important to them.

Be sincere and serious about the issues that affect them. Offer support without the need for solutions. After all, isn’t this the very technique you use when you want to impress someone?

How often I hear others say that the first time they met a life-long partner – there was a connection. He/she just seemed to understand me.

Giving others sincere recognition is the first stage in healing, just ask a psychologist.


I am amazed at how many professionals fail  to see the effect they can have on others. The joy of a young child playing with a parent. The impact a senior director can have just spending a few minutes with a junior executive. How a famous actor can visit a children’s hospital ward and replace pain with joy. You have the choice to either light someone up or crush them.

The Critic

The third rail – touch it and fry. While giving others recognition is the gift to building a strong relationship, negative criticism is by far and away the slow toxic death. As a professional I grant you that critical analysis is an important component to business. Personal criticism, however, simply has no place, anywhere.

Yet in the modern world it seems that our natural, default position is to criticise. And wow, aren’t we just great at doing this? I can guarantee that if you put an idea forward, there will be at least 8 out of 10 people who will tell you why it can’t work.

So why do people fall into this trap? It’s all about power. I criticise you because it makes me feel powerful!
The last word

The extent to which we inspire one another, though we may be oblivious to it, is incredible. We listen and take a genuine interest. We practise understanding. Why? Because others excel with it, they want to work harder, be more productive, be as great as they can. This world continually proves that to claim power over another does not work. It is the wrong path, a dead-end, and has nowhere to go.

Remember, every time you criticise you leave a ‘bruise’. How long will that bruise take to reveal itself? It can leap out at you from hiding, when you least expect it. Deny people recognition, ignore them, substitute tolerance with dominance and watch the damage happen.

The gift is not buried in clever conversation and it is not how much you are willing to spend. It is free, it is generous, and most importantly, it is all about them. I hear so many people say they wish things were different. Be the change you want to see in the world. Start with yourself today.



The Magic of Power Query

One word That describes Power Query in Excel – MAGIC! 

 Power Query will completely change the way you work in Excel! For most Excel users, Power Query could be the tool that reduces time spent in Excel dramatically. Power Query could also minimise the use of VBA coding in Excel. Power Query can be seen as a machine. Once the “machine” is built, it will continuously repeat the tasks for new data added to Excel. It is a much easier alternative for automating processes than VBA programming because Power Query does not necessitate coding. In this article, we will explore the magic of Power Query.

The Magic of Power Query

key features of Power Query

You can: 

  • Connect live to an external data source
  • Structure internal and external data
  • Clean, merge, append, and group internal and external data
  • Automate tasks
  • Transfer data from the query connection to the Excel data model
Connecting live to an external data source 

The tools to connect to external data are found on the Data tab in Excel, in the Get & Transform Data group. You can connect to any live data if you have legal access to it. You may need to get help from your IT department to connect to your source, depending on what your source is. When you have created the connection, you can create your reports, analyses, or dashboards and they will auto-update when new data is added to the source. 

You can also connect to folders, which can be extremely useful if you receive your data from clients. If you connect Power Query to a folder, drop any new data into that folder and your report, dashboard, or analysis will update, including the new data. 

Structure internal and external data 

Many Excel users struggle with source data that is structured incorrectly. This makes working in Excel much more time-consuming. Excel prefers lists, and all source data should be in a well-structured list. Power Query can restructure your data sets. When you have set up the query, the “machine” will restructure any newly added data in future.

 The Power Query Editor

Clean, merge, append, and group internal and external data 

If your data contains US dates, extra spaces, unprintable characters, incorrect spellings, empty rows or columns, incorrect formats, or hundreds of other issues, Power Query is the right tool for you. 

Power Query can also merge any number of tables. Say goodbye to complicated and memory-heavy lookup and reference functions. 

Connect to many lists and turn them all into one list by using the Append option in Power Query. 

The Group Data tool in Power Query can replace the use of Pivot Tables and the Subtotal tool, but is also particularly useful as a part of the Merge Data tool which generates related keys between the tables. 

All tools in Power Query are available both for external and internal data. 

Automate tasks 

Power Query works in much the same way as the macro recorder in Excel. The query records the steps you are doing in your data sets and writes code in a language called Power Query M.

Code example: 

One of the differences between a macro and steps in Power Query is how the code gets executed. Recorded macros will only run with user input, so you need to execute the code manually. Power Query M steps will automatically execute every time there is a task to do. 

Transfer data from the query connection to the Excel data model 

Excel has a limit of 1,048,576 rows. However, the number of rows you can add to the memory of the Data Model is almost limitless. Few Excel users are aware of a data model in Excel called Power Pivot. Not only can it store billions of records, but the compression technology Microsoft has developed for this tool is outstanding.

If you are working with huge data sets, the combination of Power Query and Power Pivot is the ultimate winner. You can connect to huge data sets. Then you can clean, structure, merge and append your data in Power Query. Afterwards, you can transfer the data to the Excel data model and relate the data sets. 

Power Query – THe Pros and Cons 

To be honest, there are really only pros. 

Any Excel user above a basic level should explore this tool; it will change how you use Excel. For most users, it will also have a significant impact on the time spent in Excel. Such is the magic of Power Query.


  • Positively impacts the efficiency of Excel tasks 
  • Removes boring time-consuming repetitive tasks 
  • Automates tasks without complicated VBA codes 
  • Makes other tasks simpler because data quality and structure will be improved