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Value The Relationship

Around twelve months ago, I met up face to face with an old school friend. Our conservative estimates put it at circa 25 years since we had been in the same room together. After education, like many, we drifted apart as we followed our paths.

Having reconnected online, we often exchanged comments or messages as we shared life events. We always threatened to get together for a beer. But the opportunity never materialised. Then fate intervened as he bought a local business and relocated the head office back to where we grew up. I visited the new enterprise, and as we talked, it was as if the intervening two and half decades had never happened. We were just two blokes, cut from the same cloth, chatting about business, life, and families.

We are in regular contact and quickly rebuilt our friendship and a business relationship. How? Because we still trust each other. And it reminded me how important it is to have confidence, belief, and reliance on everyone around you. Building this faith is not easy, but here are my top tips for helping forge productive business connections.

Active Listening

Ask questions to encourage individuals to elaborate so you can truly understand what they are telling you. Every employee or business contact is a unique individual with different viewpoints and suggestions. By allowing them to share their thoughts and then genuinely listening you can foster positive relationships in the workplace.

Trust First

Empower your team to be more autonomous, allowing them to make more decisions and take increased responsibility for tasks. By taking this first step you are showing your employees that you trust them, and they will be more likely to reciprocate.

Coach, Don’t Manage

Business owners and leaders have a vital role in building trust in an organisation. By coaching your team, you will naturally provide more training, support, and development and it is this authentic leadership that cultivates trust. Employees become more engaged and business performance improves.

Seek Feedback and Act

Solicit feedback on a regular basis to give your teams a voice within the business. Make it easy for them to provide their thoughts and for you continuously share your responses. If employees see action being taken, they will increase trust, become more engaged, and are likely to share their viewpoints.

Daily Appreciation

Everyday appreciation builds a sense of community and helps employees feel emotionally and psychologically safe. By recognising team members often, they will build trust in you. A simple thank you goes a long way.

Act With Integrity

Telling the truth is hard. But by being honest, transparent, and truthful, while being empathetic to the team you encourage them to trust you. Share everything you can in a timely manner, particularly if it involves major changes, and allow employees to share their thoughts. A two-way conversation shows you want to talk with them.

Trust takes months to build, seconds to break, and years to repair.

Make sure you value those relationships as you never know when they may reappear in your life.

Have a brilliant week!

David Rogers

Founder & CEO, Fuelled Fit and Fired Up Ltd

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