Creating strong bonds with people who are relevant, who are influential and who can have a significant impact on your career, as mentors or sponsors, doesn’t happen by accident.
There are 4 essentials you should focus on to build strong relationships with people that matter to you:
- Approach a relationship from the perspective of what you can do for them, instead of what they can do for you
- Become a dependable and reliable companion. Demonstrate that you are trustworthy and “walk the talk”.
- Create an emotional connection with the person of interest. Care for their lives within and outside of work, their struggles and their ambitions
- Exceed their expectations, over-deliver, surprise them, go the extra mile.
Watch the video above for the full lesson so that you can continue living as a role model!
Complement with these previous posts:
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How to really HELP people: Approach it like a COACH!
Eight invaluable life lessons I learned from my bosses.
STOP sabotaging yourself from making big progress!
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VIDEO TRANSCRIPT AND QUOTES:
Hi, everybody, it’s Tasso.
I get asked a lot, “Tasso, how do I build strong relationships?”
I get this question mostly in the context of work, because people are seeking ways to create strong bonds with people who are relevant, who are influential and who can have a significant impact on their careers, as mentors or sponsors, for instance. But, of course, this works also outside of work in private life.
Unfortunately, nowadays in the age of Facebook and LinkedIn people are not so much valuing strong bonds with few and rather go for quantity.
I believe there’s two reasons that play into this. Number one is, that clicking “connect” and “friend” is much easier than doing the actual hard work (I will come to this in a minute), that is required in order to put strong relationships in place. Number two is, people mistakenly believe that the bigger the network, the higher the chances are, that they are discovered or that something good happens to them.
But that’s not how networks really work. It’s not that you scream out into the forest and your message reaches the right person. It’s rather that you talk to someone, this person hands you over to another one, and then to another one. You’re literally passed on until you meet the right person. Although this can happen quite fast in fact.
Notably, there is a difference between somebody who only had to put in the effort to refer you to somebody else, and somebody who actually would put in his credibility, his hand in the fire, who would actually go the extra mile for you and fight the odds for you and with you.
What does it take to build strong relationships? I have three points that I would like to share with you.
Number one is about your way of thinking and how you approach things.
This might sound a little cliché, but the reality is this: You cannot approach relationship from a perspective what people can do for you. Instead, it is all about how you can help THEM. Even more, it’s not only you helping them, but also not having the expectations that they do something in return for you.
Because, such an expectation will poison the relationship and it will ruin that bond. You cannot make people do something or not do something. They have to decide for themselves and they will do it based on their assumption whether you’re worth it.
This leads me to…
Number two: How can you prove that you’re worth it? How can you make people invest in you?
The simplest way is through hard work. You have to work hard on yourself and on the task at hand. You need to consistently deliver, because look at this this way. If you want, that someone will put in his time, maybe money, his credibility or reputation for you then you better make sure that he is convinced that you mean it.
You have to demonstrate what you’re capable of and you’ll have to show that you would do things no matter what. It’s about showing that you are trustworthy, that you walk the talk. It’s about the person seeing you as reliable, as a dependable person.
Let’s recap quickly for a moment. Number one was that you see this from a perspective of you helping them and not them helping you, so not being selfish.
Number two was about demonstrating that you’re reliable, trustworthy, that you are person who walks the talk, a dependable person, as I said.
Number three is that you create an emotional connection with the person.
What do I mean by that?
It’s very simple. You need to actually care about the person. Care about their lives, about their families, to care about their struggles, their goals. You optimally would need to go through a crisis with them.
It does not mean that you have to do the work for them. You just have to show that you understand the struggle, that you are there for them.
If you think about it for a moment, it’s exactly how team building events work in the corporate world. When you put people in groups together and you let them fight for each other, this creates a feeling of, “We’ve been through this together.” It creates stories that people can tell, memories that they can share.
Simon Sinek in his book Leaders Eat Last compares this with the military where people literally would sacrifice their own lives for their comrades because of the emotional connection, the feeling that those would have done the same for me.
If you watched these three points so far and you’re still with me, I wanted to offer you a fourth bonus point.
Number four is about surprising them. It’s about exceeding their expectation. People don’t do this anymore. People just do the minimum effort and then walk away.
But look, if somebody asks you to review a draft document, you do this, with the utmost diligence. If your boss asks you to write a report on something, then do also an executive summary which he could forward easily to his peers and shine, because if he shines you will shine as well.
Or outside of the work environment, if you have a workout buddy and you crushed the workout and you have sore muscles after the workup, maybe just forward him a recovery workout, something that he can do the next day, or the next two days, in order to get rid of the sore muscles.
One more thought that I have for you and for this I need to go back to the corporate world again for a second. Remember that in the beginning I told you that this approach to building strong relationships works both in private and corporate life. We do this in the corporate world a lot with our comrades and colleagues, we build strong bonds because they help us survive.
But here’s a thing: in order to not only survive but thrive at work, in order to pump it up a level, I would encourage you that you use the same approach in bonding and creating the relationships not only with the colleagues and your peers, but also with your superiors, your bosses, the senior management and the vice presidents.
Because let’s face it they’re humans as well. True professionals don’t distinguish whom they help. They help those in need, and honestly, if we’re really honest to ourselves, our bosses and their bosses, they struggle as well. They have a lot of pressure on themselves. They are in need of help. Sometimes it might not seem that they deserve it, but it really is the case that if you help them it is going to create a very, very strong relationship.
This is what I wanted to share with you. I hope you enjoyed the video. I hope you learned something from this and I hope you understood what the key elements are that actually make a relationship a strong one.
It’s not happening by accident. It is something that you need to work on and the four things you should focus on are
- that you’re not approaching this from a selfish perspective.
- that you are looking to become a dependable and reliable companion
- that you actually care about the person, their lives within and outside of work, their struggles and their goals, and
- that you exceed the expectations, that you over-deliver.
Thank you very much again. If you liked it, please subscribe for more. Share this with somebody who needs to hear this and until the very next blog post, all the best.