With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, and with everyone concentrating on their loved ones, I thought it would be topical to look at relationships in the corporate world – you may spend more hours with your colleagues than your loved ones so it is crucial you have strong, healthy relationships!
Humans are naturally social and crave relationships and interactions so if you want to enjoy your job more, be more productive and more engaged, you need to manage your working relationships effectively.
In addition to internal interactions, it is important to retain strong relationships with anyone you interact with on an external business level; clients, service providers, networkers etc. to ensure you are constantly retaining and building a positive brand image.
Trust is critical for a positive working relationship; you need to be able to trust your team to deliver on time, your managers to guide you, your colleagues to support you and your providers to supply their services promptly and effectively. If all this is done successfully, you have the backbone for clients to trust you.
You need to have mutual respect for any relationship to be successful and positive. Share opinions with colleagues or business partners in a courteous manner, give constructive feedback and be understanding and sympathetic. You need to respectful in order to work well together; to achieve ongoing development; and for continued success. You need to respect your Managers in order to learn and be guided, and Managers need to respect and be open-minded to all levels of the business – the newest recruit may have some great ideas that could really develop the company strategy.
Strong and open communication is essential to building effective relationships, you need to be honest and take responsibility for mistakes; this will save time and nip any issues in the bud early. It is important to share knowledge, sources and materials with all colleagues so everyone in the business is equally equipped and able to deliver a consistent, strong standard of service. Avoid office gossip and keep confidential information guarded, make a conscious effort to congratulate, praise, and offer help and advice – by doing this, not only will you make your relationships stronger but, also more professional.
If you have a bad working relationship with a client or a customer, it is highly unlikely they will use your services again. A famous quote from Maya Angelou; “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This is important for working relationships, if you keep contact with a client after a sale, show an interest and continue to make them feel important, you will be at the forefront of their mind when they have a related need. In addition to repeat business from existing clients, if you have a good relationship they will be more inclined to recommend you – driving more, new sales to your business. On top of this, if something goes wrong with the product or service you have provided, and you have a good relationship, it will be much easier to resolve.
If you have strong working relationships, not only will it have a positive effect on your emotion towards your job, increase your team productivity and improve client relationships, but you will save time that could be wasted overcoming problems from negative dealings.
Kat Whitehead, Marketing Executive, Foundation Recruitment