7 Ways to Build More Successful Relationships

Rees_PenquinsBuilding relationships is important work — both professionally and personally.

After all, what’s success if you don’t have people around you to share it with? Inc. Magazine recently published an article on ways to build strong relationships, broken down into several easy-to-digest, but challenging-to-perform habits.

Look for ways to help. To build strong relationships with people, try to help before you’re asked. If a colleague is working on a major project, offer to help in a specific way. Offering to help before a project goes into panic-mode often prevents panic-mode altogether.

Take the heat. If a customer is mad and you know you can handle it, handle it. Not everyone can deal with another person’s anger, and those people who can’t will be grateful you stepped in.

Listen to what isn’t being said. Sometimes, someone will approach you for advice or with a question they don’t actually want the answer to. Maybe, “Was slide 3 of my presentation effective enough?” actually means, “Am I still a relevant member of our team?” Answer the question left unsaid, and you’ll make a friend for life.

Rein it in. Sure, you’re the life of the party and everyone wants to have lunch with you. But when the pressure’s on, no one wants to stop working to pay attention to yet another story of your college shenanigans. Know when to let your personality shine and know when to dial it back.

Think of others. And don’t just think of others — show you’re thinking of them. Drop some unexpected praise. Ask about a colleague’s child or ailing parent. Drop a surprise coffee on someone’s desk during a major deadline.

Own up to your mistakes. If you do something wrong, admit it and make it right — even if no one noticed you did something wrong. Someone else might learn from your mistake, and everyone will appreciate your admission.

It is better to give than to receive. Give often and ask for little. Behavior like this will likely make others want to do for you, so you’ll be fine.

Take lessons in any form, because they sometimes come from unexpected places. We all listen to the experts, but how about the guy who makes your coffee in the morning or the woman who bags your groceries? Don’t discount the messenger without first listening to the message.

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