You may be the boss to your company but success is impossible if you don’t treat other people with kindness, regard, and respect.
Succeeding in business is all about connection and building strong relationships which can take months or even years to do.
How we develop relationships with others will reveal how we are as a successful entrepreneur too.
Image: Linked In
To build strong relationships in the world of business, it’s all about using interpersonal skills to network effectively. So, to be a better relationship builder, we can practice these few basic acts:
Be thorough and sensible
You should understand your partners’ and clients’ cultural and religious backgrounds so do a background check before you meet your prospects so that you know their preferences ahead.
For instance, when it comes to gift-giving, culture and religion play important factors. You need to be aware of the certain requirements such as the usage of number ‘4’ which is deemed to be bad luck for the Chinese. Presenting or serving pork and alcohol-related things are best avoided when there are Malays. As for Indians, avoid serving beef or avoid delivering frangipani or white flowers as flower gifts as they are generally used in funerals.
Keeping in touch
It sounds basic, yes, but we tend to neglect it. If you don’t talk to someone for months, chances are you’ll be forgotten quickly. And when you finally reach out to them, they may not be able to help you immediately.
Find some sort of organising tool to remember things about people. For example, you can categorise your contacts to a certain group, place or interest.
Check in with those you have networked with every now and then. If your contacts comprises of a digital network, even better, keep your conversations going online.
Those whom you’ve exchanged business cards with, send an email or make a call every month. Use a task management system or calendar to remind you to call or write if you have the tendency to forget.
While we young ambitious go-getters are willing to endure any forms of embarrassment, the older ones might not take it lightly as they tend to be concerned about their image.
Malaysians, regardless of race, all strive to maintain face and avoid shame both in public and private.
The elders might not deal well with direct criticisms so you should take this into consideration when you oppose or disagree to certain ideas. Challenging their authority especially in public would not do you any good.
To build a harmonious and strong relationship with someone who is older and more experienced, you should remain calm and courteous and discuss certain disagreement in private.
*Text by Chris Tan