When was the last time you attended a business connections event? And did you leave feeling overwhelmed by the number of business cards that were thrust at you?
That’s what happened to me when I first attended such a meeting. I was staggered by the number of people who seemed to rush around the room handing out their business cards. They never asked if I was interested in their products or services, however!
By dishing out business cards, they appeared to think that they were also successfully building a network of potential clients.
There’s nothing wrong in building business relationships, but the key word is ‘relationships’. If you focus on quantity rather than quality, you will struggle to build authentic and meaningful relationships.
Focusing on authenticity will help you build relationships that work for everyone. But how do you build thriving relationships?
Relationology International’s Asia Pacific Partner, Richard Beaumont, recently shared ‘6 Secrets of Thriving Relationships’ with our Alumni members last month. It was a fantastic event and one we hold three times a year exclusively for those who have taken part in Relationology Academy programmes.
Richard’s tips were insightful and memorable, and I am delighted that I can share them with you!
6 Secrets of Thriving Relationships
When it comes to thriving relationships, the one tip to avoid is navel-gazing! This activity is described in one dictionary, as ‘thinking about yourself too much’.
But while navel-gazing is not conducive to thriving relationships, NAVELS are key! It’s not a part of the body, however, but an acronym! And if you follow these steps you will build thriving relationships:
Earlier this year, American President Joe Biden made headlines when he forgot the name of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Forgetting a name can be seen as rude and the other person may feel unimportant to you if you can’t remember their name.
People love to hear their name and it helps you build relationships that thrive if someone feels important to you.
The key is to find mechanisms that help you remember. For example, when you first meet, make sure you say their name several times while chatting to them. Saying,
“Great to meet you xxx!” This will help you associate them with their name.
The truth is that people love talking about themselves, so let them do so! Remember Pareto’s 80/20 rule and allow the other person speak about themselves 80% of the time you are together! The best way to do so is to ask them engaging questions.
Even the most modest person will happily chat if you motivate them with a query. Simply ask them, “So what’s your story?”
Once someone starts talking to you, verbalise your appreciation of their story. It doesn’t matter at which stage you are at with your authentic relationship, letting people know you appreciate them is a highly successful method.
Offer a compliment or be sympathetic if the other person is going through a tough time. Repeating what they have told you shows you are interested in them and they will prioritise your relationship. Sending a text or postcard thanking them for their time will always make someone feel appreciated and special.
There’s nothing worse than chatting to someone who isn’t interested in you. You instantly know because they glaze over or start looking at another part of the room. As a result, you feel unappreciated! If that has happened to you, then you know how it feels.
So make sure you engage with those in your relationships, nodding your head and smiling is key. It shows you are genuinely interested and demonstrates that you want to go deeper.
You have two ears and one mouth for a reason: you should listen twice as much as you talk! Make sure you keep eye contact as that makes listening easier. It also shows that you’re listening. But don’t stare or that could freak out the other person!
Like those people who dish out business cards as if there’s no tomorrow, entering a relationship and focusing only on what you will achieve, it is likely to fail. Instead, seek to serve. When you’re meeting others ask, “What can I do for you?” People respect those who offer to help them and it will make you memorable.
If you would like to know more about building authentic relationships, find out more about Relationology Academy’s global programmes here.