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.
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 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.