Navigating Your Most Important Currency
In the world of business there's no denying that relationships are your most important currency.
Think about your customers, your staff, your suppliers, your contractors, your partners, just to name a few.
Without all of these people supporting your business, your ability to do what you do would be near impossible. There would be no one to buy your products or pay for your services. No one to deliver the goods you need to run your business. No one to help you with the things you find difficult. And no one to bounce ideas around with or call on when times get tough.
These relationships bring richness to what you do and make everything easier, more fulfilling, and more worthwhile. However managing them can also demand a lot of your time, energy, and attention. It can often feel like trying to navigate the stock markets for the financially un-savvy.
Some relationships require you to always be two steps ahead, and know exactly when to show up and what to put on the table. Others can drain your resources and bring little reward, yet walking away harder is a lot harder than it sounds. Then there are those that tick along quite nicely without you having to do much, but you know if they were to crash that everything else would follow.
So where do you even begin? Here's a few steps that we recommend to help get you started.
ONE. IDENTIFY YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
It sounds silly, we know. But have you ever written down a list of all of the people or groups of people that are important to your business? We guarantee if you put some thought into it you'll write a pretty long list and just staring at it will make you feel dizzy. Being aware of your relationships is crucial if you want to be able to manage them effectively.
TWO. KNOW WHAT THEY BRING
For every person or group on your list, write down what it is they bring to your business (good or bad). You might like to colour code them if that helps. It can be one thing, or a whole list, but this will help you to see who deserves a lot of love, and who just needs a bit of you every now and again.
THREE. KNOW WHAT YOU BRING
Relationships are a two-way street. It can't all be about you (or them for that matter). This time, for each person or group on your list, write down what it is that YOU bring to the relationship. What do you give them, or help them with? Why should they invest in you?
FOUR. SEARCH FOR BALANCE
Start by comparing your lists from step two and step three. For each relationship take note of where the balance lies. Is it equal, or does it tip heavily in one direction? In some cases this can be okay, in others it can simply empty you, or them, and leave you both feeling bitter and unloved. If this is the case, think about how you can either add more value to those who are giving you plenty, or gently let go of those who only take and never give. The latter can be incredibly hard to do, but it can also free you up to invite more people in who serve you and your business better.
Navigating relationships isn't easy. But it is important. Getting it right can mean more time in your day to focus on what you should be focusing on. It can mean opening your business up to a whole new spectrum of potential clients and possibilities. It can mean having a business that is rich not only according to the books, but also according to your heart. However you manage yours, never forget just how precious they are.
All the best,
The Cannect Crew
P.S. If you want help enhancing your business relationships so they can grow and become prosperous, need clarity and direction about who to communicate what with and when, or are keen to build more new relationships we have tools up our sleeve that can help. Get in touch with us today!