Think beyond “networking” to building deeply connected business relationships that will enhance your business and your life.
This week on “Asking For a Friend” I interview Susan McPherson, author of The Lost Art of Connecting about how to build deeper trust and connection in your business relationships.
How do I build more connected business relationships?
Want Better Business Relationships? Gather, Ask, Do.
1:30 “The Gather, Ask, Do” model
1:50 GATHER: this starts with connecting with the most important person – yourself.
1. What is meaningful to you in business relationships?
2. What are your goals?
3. What are your superpowers (chief differentiating factors)? Who can you connect/reconnect with to help with these things, as well as help others?
4:00 Become the host. When you are not invited to things, become the host yourself!
JOMO – the joy of meeting others. As the convenor, you take back a bit of power.
6:44 What you learn, you can share.
7:00 ASK: learning to ask meaningful questions of others so you can learn their hopes, dreams, and challenges. Be willing to ask for help.
8:10 People tend to ask based on what THEY need. Instead, how can you learn about their challenges and what help they need?
9:18 When I lead with “How can I help?” the help comes back.
10:29 Reframe the feeling that you only have one chance to “get it right” with people.
11:08 The delineation between networking and connecting
12:12 A sidebar about Susan’s parents and some of the ways they built business relationships.
What can people newer in their career offer to those further along? #AskingForaFriend
13:49 What can people newer in their career offer to those further along? Younger adults are often more comfortable with technology, so that can be helpful.
15:45 Define your ask. (i.e. What do you mean when you ask someone to be a mentor?) Being specific and giving options helps people be responsive.
17:53 DO: the more quickly we can follow up (giving grace during unusual times) we send the message that we saw/heard them. Tip: on your way home, voice memo a reminder to yourself to follow up; schedule the finish
Create a Better System for Building Deeper Business Relationships
19:54 Having a system is a great help. Making connecting a task is OK! Add connection notes to folder or carry a notepad. Take photos of people and make notes. When someone comes to mind, and you aren’t in the middle of a meeting, immediately send a message to connect, “I’m thinking of you.” This all helps in building business relationships.
23:04 “I’m an introvert and I loved working from home and now I have to return to the office. The thought of connecting exhausts me” and “I was hoping we’d go back but it doesn’t look like we will fully – we are work from anywhere now – and I’m not ready to deal with video meetings forever.”
23:47 Give ourselves grace. We may not yet understand what this has done to us psychologically. If you run a company, make space at beginning of meetings to help people feel comfortable.
25:45 “We are staying remote. I’m not connecting like I used to.” Be proactive if you can. Use the comments feature on various platforms. Take some things offline and talk on the phone.
29:05 Science shows that if you make a meaningful attempt to build relationships, your life will last longer. It’s extraordinarily healthy.
Related blog post: Lead Remote Meetings that Get Results and Build Relationships
Related Asking For a Friend: How Do I Get Better at Remote Small Talk?