It’s not only important to be an expert in your field or area of expertise. This might get you in the door with potential clients, but creating genuine relationships is what leads to the long-term relationship(s) that you’re seeking. When you create a relationship with someone, you seek their trust and confidence in your approach, offering, or advice. Here are a few tips that should help you increase your chance of building a lasting relationship.
- Sense of humor. It’s ok to show people you’re a real person and that you can laugh and have a good time. Don’t confuse this with simply messing around and wasting company time. This shows people that you don’t always have to be serious 100% of the time. That doesn’t lead to much of an interesting relationship.
- Be a real person. Sometimes people don’t get to see the real person each of us truly is. We put on our “work” face, put up our guard, and prevent anyone from getting inside it. People need to see that you have feelings and sympathy for one another. Again, don’t confuse this with not holding people accountable and letting them out of their responsibilities, but merely understanding their perspective, leaving them knowing you genuinely listened to them as a person.
- Find common ground. Regardless if it’s sports, politics, news, family, or the weather, it’s important to find various topics that you have in common with the person you are trying to form a relationship with. Figure out what it is with each person where you share common interests and use as a way to break the ice while you continue building your relationship.
- Genuinely be interested. It’s not hard to determine if someone is genuinely listening to what you’re saying while having a conversation. You can see it in their facial expressions and eyes. It’s important to make eye contact during the conversation. It also helps to ask probing questions to engage with them and for them to know you truly are interested in what they’re saying.
By no means is this a complete list, but rather a few things that have helped me along the way as I’ve tried to forge solid, long-lasting relationships with most people I come in contact with. I’m in the profession I’m in because I genuinely care about helping others and seeing them succeed. For this reason, I have built some great relationships with people that I’ll keep with me for the rest of my life.