Best-selling author and international leadership speaker John Maxwell believes that, “we cannot become what we need by remaining what we are.”
It’s a very stark reminder that if we remain within our comfort zone and fail to develop, we risk missing out on opportunities to grow. It is not just our skills that grow and develop when we make an intentional decision to learn something new. We can also maximise business growth when we achieve new success from acquiring new skills.
Andy Molinsky, Professor of Organisational Behaviour and International Management at Brandeis University, writes, “Without the courage to take the leap, we can miss out on important opportunities for advancement.”
Staying where you are, then, is a choice you can intentionally make. If you are reading, this dreaming about business growth or a new career, then you need to take a step. That tentative foot forward could be in developing new skills, especially in building relationships that help you reach those goals.
If your decision is governed by fear of the unknown, however, you’ll stay exactly where you are.
Master a new skill
In today’s business environment, mastering new skills is essential. The exponential development of technology over the past 20 years is such that the business landscape looks very different now to what it was.
Remember, in 2000 the internet was still in its infancy with 56k dial up connecting you to the outside world. Small businesses, therefore, avoided the cost of building websites. Online shopping was only available for large companies. And the iPhone didn’t even exist!
With breathtaking advances, the business world looks very different today. And, thanks to Covid-19, working online using a variety of devices has become a necessity. If you haven’t mastered the skills needed to work in a virtual world, then your business could be missing potential growth.
Heidi Grant Halvorson, a motivational psychologist and author of 9 Things Successful People Do Differently highlights this in a Harvard Business Review column. She says, “In a fast-moving, competitive world, being able to learn new skills is one of the keys to success. It’s not enough to be smart, you need to always be getting smarter.”
The Relationology Academy
Learning how to build, nurture and grow your Relational Ecosystem may appear different to lessons in using new technology. There is a fundamental similarity, however: failing to develop your business relationships skills can be as life-limiting to it as failing to embrace technology.
Intentional business relationships require a skillset that can be learned. And like anything worth achieving in life, it needs a step outside our comfort zone!
Joseph Weintraub, a Professor of Management and Organisational behaviour at Babson College explains in an article, "We need to constantly look for opportunities to stretch ourselves in ways that may not always feel comfortable at first. Continual improvement is necessary to get ahead.”
Recognising that many people are nervous when building business relationships, I decided to introduce the Relationology Academy. The idea was developed from hosting Relationology Mastermind Groups, where those taking part were eager to take further steps after achieving their goals.
With new-found confidence, they were determined to learn new skills in developing an extraordinary ability to build effective business relationships.
In my book Grow Your Business, I explain that taking a long-term view of the value of client relationships and a commitment to journey with them is required to maximise growth in your business. Client relationships rarely happen overnight. Like the tomato plants on my allotment, nurturing and care is required before any fruit is grown and they become ripe enough to enjoy.
Developing skills in building effective relationships needs solid foundations, which is where the first Relationology Course is rooted. There are seven modules that run over 100 days, mainly in a group setting. But for those who cannot manage a weekly set time, the courses will be available online for distance learning, too.
Find out more about the modules on the Academy page.
In the new year, a second course will be introduced into the Relationology Academy: Writing My Book. Publishing a book is described as the best business card in the world due to the growth opportunities it creates.
And as it is said that, ‘everyone has a book in them’, I want to help people achieve that goal so they can experience those opportunities. Why not contact me if you are interested in being one of the first to take part in that course?
The Academy is an exciting new step for Relationology. But, as Professor Molinsky said at the start of this blog, “without the courage to take the leap, we can miss out on important opportunities for advancement.”