Monday, December 14, 2015

Building relationships

Relationships are currency, no matter what industry you are in. Relationships help to build bridges, resolve conflicts, and generally get things done. You can't get far without building relationships with others.

I've talked about building relationships in other coaching buttons. You should remember the 4 I's of building relationships:
  1. Initiate
  2. Inquire
  3. Invest
  4. Influence
I sometimes refer to #4 as "Inspire" rather than "Influence." It depends on how you use the relationship.

Along the lines of building relationships, I found an interesting short video from BuzzFeed about How to make friends (according to science). The video lists a few tips on making yourself more approachable, including:

Keep your torso open and face the person you're talking to.
People will feel you are mentally open.When I converse with others, I want to give my full attention to the person I am with, so I tend to place myself directly in front of them. But I find many people, at least in the Midwest, prefer to have conversations with their bodies at an "angle" to the person they are talking to. So we may find ourselves in a bit of a "dance" as they keep trying to go back to the "angle" and I then move to face them.
Keep your hands visible to others.
This will create trust.We use body language to create more expressive conversations. Our body language can include tilting our heads or defining shapes with our hands to help in visualizing a concept. If you remove body language, you remove part of what makes a conversation more personal.
Create a time constraint.
The other person won't feel they are trapped in a conversation.We've all experienced the co-worker who suddenly appears in our door or cubicle, and wants to chat. Perhaps the person is bored or waiting for their software build to compile, or just killing time before going out to lunch, and decides to drop in for a visit. The sudden visit and forever conversation is a real interruption to your productivity. Don't be that person. If you need to visit with someone at the office, try to put a time limit on your stay, and make sure the other person knows you need to leave soon.
Other tips from the video include:

Ask for small favors.
Being needed will make others feel close to you.
Speak slowly and clearly.
You'll appear more confident.
Maintain eye contact.
This can strengthen the connection in a conversation.
Avoid butting-in or correcting others.
Don't make it about you.
Share some personal information, when appropriate.
Avoid becoming impersonal.
Take two minutes to watch this brief video and find ways to practice their tips. Build your relationships!
photo: Astro

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