Sunday, August 19, 2012

Thoughtful Relationship Building

Up early and ready to what on a Sunday? Work! Yep, I got behind when I went back up to Northern California to do some networking. So now I have to get a few projects back on track. I've also found myself easily distracted ... oh, look it's Facebook ... oh look my favorite person texted me ... oh I have to email that one! The distractions abound just sitting at my desk. I used to be better at managing the distractions, but lately not so much. Now let's not get too distracted writing this, too. Now surely I must have something more meaningful to say to help improve your business, right? OK, fine I will try and get serious ... sort of ... or not. No, no, no! I'm going to get serious (five seconds worth). Here are three mission-critical things you should be doing if you're in business:

Thoughtful Relationship Building. When I say thoughtful, I mean not going out and networking with the sole purpose of just meeting someone and setting up a business coffee-break moment. I mean truly meeting them and doing so only with the intention of helping them - and if something else comes of it great ... if not, you've made yourself memorable. Who doesn't feel warm and fuzzy about someone who reached out and generously helped them?

Generosity of Spirit. I said this the other day to a close friend of mine whom I respect. When he gives talks or speeches, I've noticed he doesn't hold back. He is open and willing to help anyone who will ask. He doesn't feel competitive - and this is the key. He really and selflessly wants to help. And if you're generous with your knowledge, expertise and insight, people will warm to you. And whom do people work with? People they like.

Watch Your Reputation, too. These strategic business-building behaviors will make your business a success. Acting like a baboon will do the opposite. Being loud mouthed, insensitive or blithely unaware of your actions leaves a bad impression. Intrusively and selfishly throwing business cards, talking non-stop about your own business, and forgetting to listen to others will get you unceremoniously regaled in the Bad Business Hall of Fame. And believe me when I say, your loutish behavior will follow you around the business world much like a terrible skunk smell years after it has rotted. I can tell you unequivocally who I know out in the business world who smells rather "skunkish," and who I will never promote or do business with. So your reputation once destroyed is really hard to rebuild.

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