How to Build a Relationship With Just About Anyone

Conflict Resolution 2Practice the 3 R’s – to establish trust and build relationships with the people you work with and interact with. Have you ever met someone for the very first time and thought, “Yuck – what a dink?”. (I don’t mean Double Income No Kids). There is just something about them that you don’t like. For what ever reason they rub you the wrong way. The truth of the matter is sometimes you have to work with – or interact with – people you don’t like. Even if you don’t like them – you still need to find a way to work with them. I have a solution for you. Think of someone who you work with that for what ever reason, you are having difficulty getting along with them. I want you to try this little experiment and see if it helps repair that relationship or a least make it bearable. I call it the 3 Rs to building relationships and establishing mutual trust with just about everyone and anyone.

Rapport: Start a conversation and find out something about them that you can talk about. What are their hobbies? Do they have children, play sports or read books? What do they love to do in their spare time? You can’t build a relationship with anyone that you haven’t established a rapport with first. Get them talking about themselves or what they love to do, and you are on your way to the next step. You are on your way to likeability.

Relationship: People like to hang around with, and interact with people they like. The more conversations you can have with that person or persons, the more likely it is that you are breaking down those barriers and are becoming more likable. Soft-skills – the ability to communicate and interact more effectively with others is a necessary skill in building relationships. Building a relationship is key to getting along with people – even the ones you don’t like.

Respect:  You don’t respect anyone you haven’t built a relationship with first. Out of a relationship comes mutual respect. You might not agree with everything they have said or done – but because you have built a relationship with them, you will respect the fact that they have a right to their own opinion and a right to live their lives as they see fit. We tend to agree to disagree with people we respect.

If you have navigated the three-step process successfully you will be able to establish trust in your relationship with the people you work with and interact with. You never trust anyone you don’t respect first. As friends, parents, managers, leaders, and coaches sometimes you need people to take a leap of faith. Sometimes you don’t have all the answers and need them to trust you. If you have established mutual respect in your relationships, then they will trust you. They will take that leap of faith knowing that you would never set them up for failure. They’ll know you have their best interest in mind.

Copyright (c) 2017. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit https://briansmithpld.com

Bigger is Bigger But Not Neccessarily Better

bigger 2Have you walked around a large department or food store lately? Too big to fail? I’m not so sure. I’m not convinced bigger is better. Bigger is bigger but not necessarily better. I spent 30 years in retail – managing and owning multi-million dollar businesses so I understand a bit about product selection and customer service. If I had to make a choice I’d spend my money on customer service every time. After all – how many different types of hammers do you need? At what point do customers give up looking at all the different models of toasters on the shelf and just pick one – any one? Too many choices of anything tends to numb the brain.

Who are you building your stores for? You or your target customer? The population is aging. They want to be able to get in – find what they want – and get out. They want to be able to walk around your store without having to walk endlessly in circles or guess where the exits are. They want to be able to find a sales person when they need help. They’d like to shop in a warm, friendly, inviting place – not a store that overwhelms, confuses and intimidates them. I may be dating myself but I remember a time when 25,000 square feet of retail space was the ideal size of store. Big enough to carry a large assortment of products with some breadth and depth. A store that you could manoeuver around in with ease.

The “Information Overload” epidemic continues. Here’s a case in point. I met up with some dear friends for lunch yesterday. My friend and I love hamburgers and fries so we decided to check out a popular burger place. Do you really need to list 12 different hamburgers on your menu? It’s a hamburger! – Enough already! What ever happened to the good, better, best selection process? Have we reached a tipping point yet? I certainly hope so. I think we are making life way more difficult than it needs to be. We need to go back to a simpler time.  Bigger is bigger but not necessarily better.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Are you looking for a speaker or workshop facilitator who can deliver an entertaining and informative session on a variety of soft-skills topics? Contact Brian today. He will work with you one-on-one to insure your event is an overwhelming success. http://briansmithpld.com

Leadership Lessons – Fluent in Friendliness? Apply Within

Fluent in Friendliness? Apply Within. Hats off to Lowe’s who posted that sign outside of their newest location under construction. I spent 30 years in the retail business both as a general manager and business owner –  so that sign naturally caught my attention. The one-on-one service that you provide to your customer is the only competitive advantage that you have. It’s not your product or service. It’s not your selection or price. The only competitive advantage that you have to set yourself apart from your competition is the level of customer service you provide.

Every time you come in contact with a perspective client it’s a moment of truth. Every time you come in contact with a perspective client they get to decide if they want to continue to do business with you or not. And most often that decision is based upon the way they feel they have been treated. When was the last time you had “Wow” customer service? When was the last time you got “So-So” customer service? I’ll bet the “So-So” out numbered the “Wow” ten to one. (Ten so-so to one wow)

You don’t need to like everyone you come in contact with – But if you want to get repeat business you need to learn how to get along with them. The same holds true with the people you work with.  You don’t have to like them or socialize with them – But you do need to learn how to interact and collaborate with them. If you’re the one who gets to pick who is on your team you need to make sure you’ve surrounded yourself with people who like being around people. Managers and business owners need  to make sure they hire people who like  helping people. You can’t afford to have someone on your team who is turned off and have tuned out. You need to be just like Lowe’s and hire people who are “Fluent in Friendliness” and get rid of the ones who aren’t.  🙂