I heard that somewhere recently and it caught my attention. It was used in the context of managing a team and building business and not in the marketing sense. With social media, mobile technology and the saturation happening in the on-line world direct relationships is becoming a big deal now. I am hearing so much chatter about the importance of relationships.
Are we actually in the relationship era?
Or have we always been?
I just found it odd that someone would make a point of saying that, even today. If you don’t treat your interaction with your teams, your clients or your customers as relationships then what are you doing?
Someone help me understand the alternative.
Surely any professional knowledge worker would agree that developing relationships with their coworkers and clients is the key element to their continued success.
What else really matters?
Relationships don’t come easy, do they?
It’s kind of obvious that your actions make or break your relationships. Since I work in a team based environment I took a look that the idea of the business relationship from that perspective. I found there are at least 6 actions that drive how a team might respond to maximizing their business relationships.
It’s funny how these words form a peak with accountability at the summit.
I wonder if that’s a coincidence.
Either way it feels like accountability should be the backbone for building and maintaining relationships regardless of whether it’s a team, client or customer. Without it there is no trust. Without trust there is no connection or loyalty. Without loyalty there is little room for confidence and without confidence you can kiss hope goodbye.
Accountability is at the centre of every business relationship.
When we manage risk accountability drives the outcomes we seek to mitigate challenges and evaluate responsibility. When we take responsibility for risk, look for solutions instead of deferring issues and share responsibility for the outcome we build trust.
When we manage a team accountability shores up productivity.
We are always looking to ensure things get done effectively and efficiently. When the team takes accountability for individual action they trust each other. When trust becomes a product of accountability the team becomes loyal. They are more willing to share risk and help each other out instead of focusing on self-preservation.
When trust builds loyalty a team starts to fire on all cylinders.
They start to see issues and outcome from similar perspectives. They become connected. Connection, in a sense, that a desired outcome becomes a commonality between the entire team. Individuals come together and share their individuality for a common purpose. That connection is driven by their accountability to each other.
One of the natural by-products of a cohesive team is their ability to take on significant challenges.
Much more than if they acted as a group of individuals. The confidence that comes with the shared collective is far greater and in much greater supply than from a group of individuals acting in their own self-interest. Confidence to try new things knowing that if any one of them fails there is a team there to break their fall.
And with a strong feeling of confidence comes hope.
Hope not in a sense that all is lost should significant challenges present themselves but hope in the understanding that no one is ever alone. Hope expressed as a strong sense of belonging, team spirit and support for the expression of individuality. Hope in knowing that nothing is impossible.
There are really only two questions you need to ask yourself.
Your clients will experience the outcome accountability has on your team. If they do, they will be yours forever. Forever is a long time but it also takes a long time to get there. Time is what we have and there is not time like the present to reinforce the importance of relationship.
These actions; trust, loyalty, connection, accountability, confidence and hope are not really mutually exclusive, are they? They do, as a collective, lead me to ask two simple questions about relationships.
Who do you want to work with?
Who do you want to share a meal with?
The obvious answer is someone you like.
Someone like you.
That brings us to today’s quote.
Ai Weiwei’s calibre as an artist cannot be surpassed by one of his most famous collaborations; the design of the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 summer Olympics. We can only assume that he didn’t get there without some credibility yet he lives in an oppressed world where his freedom of expression is bound and gagged at every turn. It’s a paradox considering his popularity continues to grow. You can’t help but wonder what drives a man to such action. Is it his accountability to the freedom he seeks for his fellow man?
If that doesn’t brighten your day then maybe this will.
Have a great day and an awesome week.
If you want to read last week’s quote simply click here.