I’d like to continue expanding upon the ten traits described in the Withum Way, all of which define our culture and the behaviors which best exemplify our people. Today we will cover point six, which applies well to both internal and external relationships:
6. CULTIVATE OPEN AND HONEST RELATIONSHIPS. Developing connected, long-term relationships both professionally and personally requires a deeper level of commitment, comfort and sincerity.
Letting your business relationships get a little personal doesn’t mean you need to tell your client or colleagues your deep, dark secrets or ask them overly-personal questions. But if you give them a little more – mentioning your weekend plans, asking how their sick loved one is doing, remembering birthdays – you can create a multi-dimensional relationship by which you can accomplish a number of things:
- Create loyalty and trust that overlaps into work situations;
- Give people more reason to refer you because they feel they really know who you are;
- You get to know each other better, which makes working together easier and more efficient;
- Help develop opportunities for additional work within the company (ours or theirs);
- You become more approachable, which helps perpetuate good relationships;
- Shows that you’re human, just like they are.
Just like any relationship, the driving factor behind this is communication, whether it’s online or off. And also, like other relationships, this philosophy doesn’t apply across the board. There are some clients or colleagues with whom you wouldn’t want to have this type of relationship, either because of their personal preference or personality issues. It’s important to stay within the comfort levels of both parties and adjust your relationship to fit each individual, which underscores the point of sincerity. Be honest with them, and more importantly, be honest with yourself.
Following this very simple advice will go a long way in creating a trusted, professional relationship with your clients, and helping you to have an enjoyable and fulfilling relationship with your colleagues.