Learning how to relate in effective ways is a skill every professional needs to master. Because it’s not who you know, but how you relate that counts. How do you relate?
When I started my first business at the tender age of twenty-one I learned pretty quickly that I wasn’t very good at relating professionally. I was good at the friend stuff, but when it came to relating with employees, vendors, prospects and customers — I sucked.
I remember losing a very lucrative opportunity because I didn’t understand and could not relate with my prospect. He was an older gentlemen with a formal demeanor and staunch views about the way life, and business worked. I was loose, wide open and my views about life and business were unformed and all over the place.
Truth is, I just wanted to get and do the work, so I could get paid and fund my annual white water rafting trip. And that was the real problem, I was focused almost exclusively on myself, my needs, and my goals.
Unfortunately, that’s a trap most less successful professionals fall into and it’s a tough one to climb out of because it’s a psychological trap built by living beyond a persons means, and taking on more responsibility than their current level of character can effectively manage.
The only way to escape is to shift focus from self needs to meeting the needs of others.
That’s really the only lesson you need to learn to become outrageously successful.
What are peoples real needs?
The only thing you really need to know is that 100% of humans don’t feel understood or listened to, and because they don’t feel understood, they often feel isolated, skeptical, insecure and fearful.
Which means our greatest need as humans, and as men is to feel understood.
If you don’t know how to meet that need first you will struggle to find clients who will let you meet their other needs.
If you will learn how to fill these needs you will become a very effective relationship builder and an even more successful professional.
How Being Relatable Enhances Likability
Here are 7 ways to master relating effectively
- Practice clear communication. Muddy communication or mutual mystification is the enemy of effective relating. Do everything you can to learn what is likely to happen upstream, midstream and downstream and talk about it upfront so everyone knows what to expect when it happens.
- Inspire and encourage others. The best advice you can give to someone is the encouragement and inspiration they need to reach higher and further. Remember what Maya Angelou says, “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
- Ask great questions. Learn how to ask the kinds of questions that compliment a persons thinking so that they discover the answers they’ve been seeking. They might not know why, but they will take you into their confidence and recommend, refer and promote you to everyone they know.
- Follow Through. Do what you say you are going to do. If you don’t think you can follow through then get really good at saying no so you don’t get trapped in a situation you can’t deliver on.
- Refuse to gossip or murmur. Nothing will sour a relationship quicker than gossip. What do you really think about someone who gossips all the time? If you’re honest you’ll admit that you wonder what that gossiper says about you when you aren’t around.
- Let the other person be right. Life beats us down at every turn. When you let the other person be right you’ve helped them feel good. And as point two suggests, people remember how you made them feel.
- Accept responsibility.
No one is perfect. We all screw up and mess up. When you do be quick to fess up and follow up with the appropriate action to correct it.
Question: What are some other ways to master relating effectively?