No matter what we do, or how we do it, our success is highly effected by the people around us. Unfortunately, it is much too easy to fall into the trap of simply accepting and delegating tasks or demands to and from our clients, customers, co-workers and superiors. While it’s important to know what is required or expected of you, and deliver upon those expectations, business relationships are much more prosperous if they are treated as business partnerships.
Here are just a few ways to break loose and get started building strong business partnerships.
Start Off On The Right Foot
It is important to remember that from the very moment you first meet someone, you begin to set the stage for how they will treat you. Regardless of the circumstance, or your position, consider whoever you are dealing with as a partner. If you act inferior, compliant, or passive, then that is how you will be treated. Be bold, speak up and demand respect by respecting others; treat others as you want to be treated.
While the business world can have a bad reputation for being filled with selfish jerks racing their way to the top, remember that the majority of your clients and co-workers are genuinely good people. Give them the opportunity to treat you as an equal. From the beginning, be careful to not place yourself as superior or inferior to anyone with whom you do business.
“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.”
– Albert Einstein
Don’t Accept Relationships As They Are
Unfortunately, most people become complacent in their business relationships. They make the decision to sit back and accept the relationship as it is, even if they aren’t happy or it isn’t where they want it to be. Maybe you are already positioned as inferior in the workplace, or in a business relationship. Don’t worry, you’re not stuck! There are still ways to turn things around and develop the type of relationship you want.
Here are 3 things to start doing now to turn your business relationships into partnerships:
- Listen. Make an effort to truly understand your partner’s goals, both long and short term. The more you listen with an open mind, the better you understand. Use this information to contribute thoughts and ideas to help your partner reach these goals. Be confident with what you bring to the table… and bring it! You may be surprised by how your ideas are valued.
- Speak Up! If you are used to being in a more inferior position, and want to be able to contribute more or have more pull in decision-making, then be vocal about it. So, explain that you desire to build a business partnership; you can’t expect to receive what you do not ask for.
- Show Vulnerability By Taking Risks And Making Sacrifices. Because partnerships are all about reciprocation and working towards the same goals together, lead by example. Successful partnerships involve being willing to take risks and make sacrifices to help out their partners. By doing so, you demonstrate your commitment to the partnership, inspiring reciprocation.
“You will be what you decide to be, nothing less, nothing more.”
― Alan Weiss
It’s no secret the best relationships are built on a solid foundation of clear, honest and respectful communication. If you want to build strong business partnerships, you must learn the art of excellent communication.
Be honest and open with your partners, understand their strengths and pain-points, and be honest with yourself about your own. This takes practice, and requires work at getting to know how to effectively communicate with each partner individually.
Because a big part of communicating is accepting and giving tactful feedback, you must be brave enough to suggest areas where your partners can improve. Depending on the individual you are dealing with, you may have to approach this in unique or distinctive ways. This becomes more clear as you get to know these people on a deep and personal level.
It is also important to encourage constructive criticism back from your partners. Not only does this avoid you being perceived a ‘know-it-all,’ but it provides you with the information you need to learn and grow. What’s more, the better you know where you all stand with each other and within the business, the stronger your relationship will be.
“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.”
Benefits Of Partnership Status
Having strong business partnerships results in numerous benefits.
Partnerships build trust. When you work in an environment of open, honest individuals you trust, it develops a sort of determination. When you know your partners have your back, you are able to speak up and assert your ideas with confidence. You work together as a team towards a common goal, and combine your skills and knowledge. This maximizes your potential to achieve your objectives and become successful together.
Equal partnerships provide new opportunities to meet people and expand your business network. When you trust each other, there is no fear of losing a job or service by introducing each other to individuals outside of your organization who may be able to help you.
Creating strong business partnerships is an unending process which requires endurance, consistency and determination. Practice relationship-building regularly, and be conscious to keep your own attitude and behavior in check.
At Thrive, we believe in doing business with honesty, integrity and a sincere heart for others. We strive to operate as an extension of your business by making your goals our goals. Contact us today to learn about how we can work together with you to achieve your business goals.