When I think about relationships, I first think about the bond I have with my immediate family. Undoubtedly, these three individuals forge the most significant and meaningful relationship in my life. I can only assume that the rest of the world also sees relationships through this familial lens.
As I’ve matured, I have discovered that I tend to value relationships with everyone else outside of my family in much the same way. As a businessman, I count these connections not only as an entry in the asset column but as a testament to how a business should be run. Without cultivating the relationships I’ve built with my partners, my employees and, most importantly, my customers, I would either be a lousy business owner or I wouldn’t be in business at all.
But how does one build such strong, lasting and valuable relationships? We have done so through bringing our best to the table, whether during a live meeting, virtual meeting, telephone call, email, or even over a few beers. We connect in person at events and conferences in both formal and relaxed settings. We create a setting that is conducive to conversation, camaraderie and just a little bit of crazy fun.
It is gratifying to experience the fellowship that comes along with having customers and vendors who have become like family to us. Equally rewarding is developing new friendships among newcomers.
Do you have the same experience? Do you count your business partners as your friends? How do you cultivate your relationships? How has doing so complemented or, perhaps, complicated your life? Post a comment, review this week’s poll or send an email with your thoughts on the subject.
Survey Results for 06/22/2016:
Do you consider your business partners and customers as your friends?
I have developed a few strong relationships in my professional circle.
I have a personal relationship with most of my colleagues.
I prefer to keep my personal and professional life separate.