Building Solid Relationships

TrustWas working on another article for my high school swim team website when I came across this article by Dave Bowman on Trust in the Workplace.  We can substitute family or circle of friends, maybe even my swim team for workplace.  But I wanted to concentrate these notes on how to treat people in general.  I truly believe that we are in a point in society where common decency is lacking.

Then this morning I came across this post by Mandy Edwards (Twitter handle @memktgservices) talking about How to Better Serve Your Clients and the two articles just struck a huge cord with me.  So, when you read the items below, try to relate them back to how you deal with people on a daily basis.

Let me paraphrase and add my notes to each one of Dave’s points and add Mandy’s into the mix:

  1. Integrity – Say you are going to do, and then do what you say.  It seems simple, but we all fail at times.  Keeping promises and always telling the truth.  You gain credibility with people in all facets when this happens.  Inconsistency causes confusion.
  2. Vision and Values – Know where you are going and, just as important, know how you are going to get there.  Once those pieces are communicated it becomes a win-win.
  3. Equality – Everyone in the group needs to feel value in their opinion and should also get credit for when their ideas come to the surface .  This along with everyone being treated with respect goes a long way.  Do not walk in with a solution already in hand without hearing the challenge.  Ask before speaking.
  4. Shared Goals – Once the shared vision is established, the emphasis needs to be on a “team win” in that everyone benefits when you do well.  Personal agenda and individual goals need to be secondary to the team goals.  When a person is out for their own personal gain, trust breaks down.
  5. Do what is Right – Even if no one is looking.  Create an environment of success by doing all the little things correct.  Show up on time, and do the work required.  Take an extra 5 minutes and exceed their expectations.  Check your ego at the door.
  6. Attitude – This is one that I added to the list.  If you consistently and genuinely care  and promote a “We” position you will nurture all relationships in a positive way.  Focus on the challenges and solutions not the personalities.

These notes are a base that allow for an open and honest communication.  Trust leads to stronger partnerships.  While you may never get a second chance to make a first impression, it’s easier to get a second chance to do right in a relationship with a strong partnership.

30 Minutes and SO Many Life Lessons Learned

I did a presentation last night as a Athletic Coach asking a Booster Club for funds to support a project.   You would not believe how many life lessons can be learned in a 30 minute span that can be used everywhere you go when dealing with the public.

The bullet points below are things I think can help make a relationship (this time with a prospective Donor but it could be a potential client) that may have been questionable and move it into the Trust category.  I said it last night two or three times to the group I was presenting to, and I will repeat it here.  Trust Relationships are what make a solid foundation for success.

Things learned and major take a ways:

  • Leave something behind so that it can be used as a reference point.  Something tangible for the client to read and sink their teeth into.
  • Say Thank You!  Thanks for allowing me the time to speak.  Thank You for allowing me to present my materials.  Thank you for taking time out of your schedule for us to get together.  The client can spend their money anywhere, you need to impress upon them that you value them.
  • Have a Pen.  This allows you to take notes afterward.  This also allows you to write down any questions that may come up that you need to follow up with.  And, heaven forbid, it allows you to close the deal.
  • Have a wrist watch on OR identify a clock in the presentation room so that you know that you are staying on any given time line.  It is also not a bad idea to ask how much time you have to talk about your material before you start.
  • Make sure you review your notes and prepare before speaking.  An ounce of prevention goes a long way.  Run your concepts and ideas towards others before hand and then prepare for potential questions.
  • Use peoples first names if you know them and look them in the eye when talking.  This one is sometimes hard for me.
  • And more recently, set your phone to silent or turn it off.   There is nothing more embarrassing and annoying than having your phone go off during your presentation.  Next is when the audience you are speaking to has their phone go off.

I may not be the best presenter of materials, but once I learned most of the above, I have been getting better and better.  To me, these are all small things that make presentations better.