Building Relationships by Jim Bellacera

JimBellaceraThe skill of communication Building strong relationships is one of the greatest skills you can use both personally and professionally. The better you are at building bridges to people and relating to them, the more others will listen to you. The way you communicate your thoughts to others using your words as well as your body language and listening skills will determine how people respond to you. When you first meet someone you make an acquaintance; but when you make an effort to connect with someone by building a rapport with them it can be the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship.

Most people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. So communication is the key, asking questions and listening. People want to be heard and made to feel valued.

 NULL One of the keys to building relationships is to be a good listener. When you are talking to someone you need to give them your full attention, both body and mind. Your eyes give it away when you are looking around and something or someone else is getting your attention. People want to feel important and by giving them your undivided attention will help them feel that they are.

Communication is the key. Ask a question then listen. People want to be heard and valued. But this is not accomplished only by what is said, sometimes your body language speaks louder than your words.

Write down how it makes you feel when you are having a conversation with someone and they aren’t really there. Their eyes or mind is somewhere else. How do you feel when you know the person you are having a conversation with is paying attention to you and hearing every word. People love to feel like you are genuinely interested in them and what they are saying has value. Instead of talking only about yourself and what you think, ask them what their opinion is. If you happen to not agree on something do not be outwardly objectionable. Having a debate is a fast way to put up a wall and cause someone to not feel safe. You have to build a foundation of trust. Whether in business or in a personal relationship, even family, there is never a good time to bring up religion or politics if you don’t know where the other person stands. Religion and politics can get people’s blood boiling quickly when two or more are not in agreement. This is the best way to divide a partnership, a team, or a family. Ask yourself this question: “Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?” My wife reminds me of this constantly.

When a person feels valued and respected they become confident. They are more likely to leave their comfort zone. When a person is confident they are more likely to encourage others and be a better team player.

We all desire to feel valued, needed, respected, and loved by others. When you make people feel like they are important to you they feel valued and that builds confidence and develops trust. When you make someone feel valued by you, they will do anything not to disappoint you. Whether it be an employee or a spouse, they will go the extra mile to get the job done. How does it makes you feel when you are made to feel valued and respected. Have you ever been around someone that is always trying to impress you with who they know or what they have done? The most impressive people I have ever met are those that spend more time asking about others than talking about them selves. Most people do not enjoy being around self centered arrogant people. Again, people care more about how much you care than how much you know or have done. Think about a conversation you have had with someone who spends most of the conversation talking about themselves. Write down what you can do and say to make others feel important. People are drawn to enthusiastic people. Some people because of the way they think, are very matter of fact and detailed in how they communicate. The truth is, even those types of people are attracted to someone that is excited and enthusiastic.

Enthusiasm is contagious and energizing. Wouldn’t you rather be around excited people? When you are enthusiastic you will attract more people who want to be around you and listen to what you have to say.

List some people in your life that attract others to them and why. List some people that you know that repel people from them and why. ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ Which category do you think people would place you in? Kindness goes a long way. Resistance keeps people at a distance because when you repel people they are not going to want to be around you let alone do business with you. Kindness will get you much farther than criticism any day. I spent some time with a very talented woman some time ago. She was very captivating when she spoke. What was amazing about her was that her greatest fear was to die a lonely person with no friends. She shared that she didn’t have a relationship with her father or her mother. But it wasn’t long before she would begin to repel everyone around her to the point where no one wanted to be around her. She always started out by saying how great she was, of course, never complimenting others. She had very little patience with people. And if she didn’t agree with you, you knew immediately. She justified herself by saying, “what you see is what you get, me”.

Just remember the golden rule, be kind and treat others as you wish to be treated. And if you cannot say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

We live in a world where sarcasm is humor. It can be very hurtful. The key is to focus on the good in others and their potential if you want people to be attracted to you and want to spend time with you or do business with you. Compliment people even on the little things like what they are wearing, or their hair, or their smile, or something positive about them. You can always find something positive about a person. Remember when someone made you feel good about yourself, what was it they said? The business world can be a dog eat dog world, every person for themselves, gotta watch your back. So in order to build those trusting professional relationships you have to be confidant but not prideful or arrogant. You have to be gracious rather than judgmental. You must learn to be respectful not bossy, sincere, not phony. In business, people want to feel good about those they are doing business with; it’s all about trust and respect. Making people feel important can be as simple as remembering their name and pronouncing it correctly. It makes people feel valued and important when you do. I have always had to work on remembering names. So I play word games in my head or I repeat their name back to them. If I just met John for the first time I would say, “John, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” Put importance on remembering their name and they will feel valued and want to listen to what you have to say. Write down some ideas you can use to help remember names. Example: sometimes you can use and an item on their clothing and match it with their name to help you remember. Say their name several times in your head and then repeat their name in your conversation. Keep a pen and paper in your pocket and as soon as you walk away from your new acquaintance write down their name.

You have to like yourself before you can like others. People will like you and respect you only if you respect yourself. Taking this one step further, you can help people to like themselves by making them feel valued.

The greatest compliment one can receive is when someone says “I like myself better when I am with you.” Finally, when you want to lift someone up, praise or compliment them. Taking the time to send a “thank you”, “congratulations”, or a note of encouragement is a
simple gesture that can go a long way. E-mails are okay but never as meaningful as a hand written note that you took the time out of your busy schedule to write and drop in the mail. Little things can make a big difference and can build a bridge to a lasting relationship. Write down at least three people you can send a note of encouragement to today. Now get out your address book and do it. Recommended reading: How to Win Friend and Influence People Dale Carnegie How to have Confidence and Power When Dealing with People Les Giblin


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Jim Bellacera
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