By Dr. Jason Carthen
How many of us have ever gone through any trials in our lives? Maybe even experienced the gravity of a loss that threatened to shake the very foundation of what we believe in? I know I have, and based upon some of the comments from those in our learning community, others have as well. The point of my asking is related to the tremendous value that relationship can have in our lives. Some of my fondest moments of building relationship have come over a cup of coffee or during the course of a meal with someone who wanted to take a risk and explore the possibilities of engaging another human being. So what is relationship and why does it add value to a discussion of leadership? Relationship is important to leadership and business because it has the power to build and changes lives for the better.
Importance of Relationship
Since antiquity, the importance of relationship has been the linchpin for success in many cultures, endeavors and business pursuits. For example, in collectivistic cultures, the idea of relationship and the good of the whole supersedes that of the individual and selfish pursuits that only focus on what an individual wants to achieve is largely frowned upon. By contrast, in individualistic societies, the very real threat to relationship is the idea that individual gain is the most important indicator of success.
Strangely enough, in business and leadership, individuals are often rewarded for what they have achieved in isolation, while the notion of teamwork is looked upon with hesitancy and reluctance because it requires individuals to come out of their comfort zone for success to take place.
Three Keys to Build Long-Term Relationships
Let me share three keys to building long-term relationships as you build and change lives.
Openness to Giving:
When building into others, give of yourself freely without expectations of anything in return. The greatest indicator of relationship is a willingness to give to others. It is human nature to emulate behavior and when others see your openness and kindness, they will want to do the same.
Lay the Foundation:
Creating synergy with others requires you to be genuine and intentional in your actions. In other words, don’t reach out only when you need something. Make it a point to remain connected in season and out of season as you travel through life. For example, as a leader, know what your teams are going through before you receive a memo from HR about a birth in the family or the tragedy of a passing.
Make Time for Others:
No matter how successful you become in your own mind (Hint) make time for others and make an effort to connect. Whether in real-time for lunch, coffee, or a phone call, do the work and connect with others as you build relationships before you need them.
Some relationships are not going to go well and will appear fruitless, but as my mother used to share with me as I was growing up, you should never place all of your proverbial eggs in one basket. Make time for others and multiply the depth and number of your relationships.
Please leave a comment or post on my Facebook Page and share with our community why relationship is important in business and as a leader. I appreciate my relationship with each of you!