Many people argue that the fundamental unit of value in the modern world is money. Well, I discovered another one—good relationships. Actually, good relationships connect you to sustainable sources of money.
Think about it for a moment. What happens if you build stronger relationships with your boss and your coworkers? You get raises and promotions and bigger projects with your income going up in the process. Good relationships can connect you to jobs and business opportunities when others with similar or better qualifications and credentials than you are struggling. How you relate with people matters.
You can easily carry this over into your personal life, too. Let’s say you are about to move. If you have a lot of real friends, a few phone calls will get you all the help you need. This phenomenon pops up in pretty much every aspect of our lives. From this, it is easy to see that building up a lot of real relationships with people is valuable. What do I mean by a real relationship? I am referring to one where something of positive value is exchanged on a regular basis—useful advice, a helping hand, an ear to truly listen, and so on. Any relationship worth its salt has a healthy dose of positive exchanges of value with a minimum of negative exchanges (insults, backstabbing, gossip, incorrect advice, being an obstacle).
Building relationships is very important. Go to where people are and open up. Attend conferences and conventions and meetings. If you hear someone talk who seems interesting, follow up directly with that person. Volunteer to present during meetings—it will give lots of others a chance to hear you.
Do also remember to keep in touch. Make a regular habit of keeping in direct contact with people. I should confess that I have been very bad at this myself. But a good technique is to keep a list of people you want to maintain relationships with and strive to contact them on a regular basis. Let them know what you are up to directly and ask what they are doing.
Do also give of yourself freely. If someone needs help, offer it. Don’t worry about what you might get out of it. Just help them. If you contact someone and find out they are stuck on a project, need a job, or need a helping hand in some other way, either provide that help yourself (if you can) or find someone who can provide that help and make the connection.
Do ask for advice and show appreciation for help that you get. At some point, you will need some direct help from the people you have built relationships with (you would be surprised how often they provide indirect help). When you do ask for that help, be thankful. Thank them for showing up, thank them for whatever help they provide, and do what you can to make their contribution easier. Doing these things over and over again will cause you to build a lot of stable, invaluable relationships over time. Time and time again, those relationships will come through for you when you need them in your career and personal life.
Blessed weekend to you and yours as you build good and lasting relationships.