Nine Steps to Cultivate a Winning Relationship

skyeteam leadership development

During my keynote presentations I will often be asked “What can I do to cultivate a winning relationship?”  While I provide plenty of suggestions in my book Cultivate. The Power of Winning Relationships,  here are 9 steps to get you moving in the right direction.

  1. Remain Curious. It’s all too easy, especially when we have known someone for a period of time, to get complacent about learning. To develop and maintain your relationship it’s important to remain curious, to find out what makes them tick, what they do for fun outside of work, what frustrates them. When you know your colleagues, take the time to learn about your colleagues, it is easier to build and nurture Ally relationships.
  2. Be Proactive. Don’t simply wait for them to come to you and to ask for help or input. Reach out, ask them how their day is going, what you can do to help support them.
  3. Treat each person as an individual. Being an Ally is not a one size fits all approach or solution. You need to flex your style and approach to meet (or more closely meet) their needs. Stepping into their shoes means you have step out of yours first! 
  4. Interact. With all the social media and other technology services available it’s ironic that we can be so connected, and yet remain so disconnected. By all means use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc. (I do) but remember that Ally relationships come from the personal interaction.
  5. Add value. Focus on how you can add value for the other person, whether it’s your expertise, advice or guidance; your action and support; or simply listen to what’s happening in their world.
  6. Don’t keep score. If you are adding value the I promise it will be a win-win relationship for all. It may not always be evenly balanced, but trust the process, trust them, an Ally doesn’t keep count!
  7. Be authentic. When you have an Ally relationship you don’t need to pretend, or to wear a mask. You can be authentic, sharing with candor your successes, your fears, the feedback you may need to provide to them.
  8. Candor and Debate. This is critical, an effective relationship is not a monologue, it is built around dialogue. Two-way conversations that discuss the real issues in a way you can both hear, learn, respond and grow from.
  9. Being an Ally starts with you. You can’t build a successful Ally relationship by focusing on what “they” need to do. It starts with you choosing to be an Ally, on the good days, and especially on the tough days. This is a 24×7 approach to business and your career.