In an increasingly digital world, it’s fair to say that it can be a challenge to build lasting business relationships. So we’ve put together a list of important considerations to help you sort the wheat from the chaff and build, what we hope will be, long lasting effective business relationships.
1. Be Authentic
How can you expect to meet likeminded people if you yourself aren’t presenting an authentic version of yourself to the people you meet? People want to connect with genuine, likeminded people in business. People who share the same visions and values but not necessarily always the same views are more likely to build lasting relationships than people who only present a staged version of themselves.
2. Be Selective
You don’t need to build a relationship with everyone you meet. It doesn’t matter how ‘influential’ or ‘well connected’ people are, if they aren’t relevant to your business or goals you don’t need to try and force a relationship with them. A small group of worthwhile connections will prove to be far more significant than a bunch of people on an entirely different wavelength.
3. Be Vulnerable
We deal with difficulty, challenge and change on a daily basis. Showing that we can be vulnerable in these situations only makes us more human and adds to our authenticity. Vulnerability should never be seen as a weakness to those who really ‘get’ us. Cautionary point however, this is usually best saved for a select few rather than in full blown public view. The world and his dog do not need to witness every bump in the road.
4. Take a break!
If you want to really get to know someone, take them out of the working environment and spend time getting to know one another over a coffee or lunch. This allows you both to drop your guard and should also encourage the conversation to take a more relaxed turn. Nothing too personal mind, no need to air your dirty laundry at this point, but you never know you might start talking about what you get up to at the weekend and find you have a mutual hobby. Chances are you would have never had these conversations in the formal setting of a work space.
5. Expect nothing!
By this we mean, don’t fixate your preconceived expectations of people onto them. If you project your expectations of people onto them, chances are they fulfil them. Instead understand that people are rarely exactly as we want them to be, that way you are not setting yourself up for disappointment.
It’s fair to say co-working gives you a chance to work in close proximity to a whole multitude of people who you may just find turn out to be the business connection you never knew you needed.