- Be Authentic
It’s easy to create a false persona, especially online, but that is not the way to start a relationship and short lived when we start qualifying people and companies. Find people and companies you feel a natural connection and ease of communication with and things you both have in common. The authenticity of connecting personality, beliefs and point of view can accelerate relationships.
- Identify Shared Goals and Values
We seek out people in life we like and share similar goals and values with. Are they honest, kind, knowledgeable, helpful? How do they treat others? This is about moral character. Do we respect them? Too many people present themselves one way, only to take advantage of people once they have their trust. We may not always share the same point of view with everyone, but the shared values are a must.
- Develop Mutual Respect
We prove ourselves over time and through different activities and experiences. Join a chamber, professional group, or online community, which are all great environments to develop relationships. Be patient, selective, and watch people in action. Building mutual respect is an essential for growing relationships.
- Share Some Vulnerability
We are human and sometimes that means sharing and supporting people through difficulty, challenge and change. Showing our vulnerability is part of our authenticity. One word of caution: this is best shared with a select few rather than more publicly. Use good judgment here.
- Make Meaningful Connections for People to Network with Each Other
The greatest compliment in business is a referral. We should be thoughtful, have the right motives, and be connecting people for the right reasons. Not all referrals work out. It takes two to make it happen and work, so don’t be doing all the work.
- Let Go of Expectations
Always go into relationships with an open mind, realistic expectations, and never assume. People are only who we think they are based on what our interactions have been with them. If we have preconceived expectations of people, then we are setting ourselves up for disappointment.
- Schedule Brainstorming Time
Block out dedicated time to brainstorm, engage, and do business together. Best to set a regular time, a time limit, and an agenda for what you want to accomplish in it. Leave some time for unexpected discussion.
- Offer Something Before Asking for Something
When we educate, help, and inspire others with our experience and expertise, we are building the foundation for trust that underlies relationships that endure. When we blog, create content, speak, do a workshop, webinar, write an eBook, or go to events, we are serving and helping.
When we get more serious and engaged on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media where community gathers and exchanges ideas, we are serving and helping. Serving and helping builds trust like nothing else.