Walking into a room can be intimidating when you are the new face taking up space. Your communication skills are put to the test, and your nonverbal skills come to the surface. Learning to navigate your business relationships builds your network and opportunities to take your business to the next level. In your career, building relationships gets you invited into the room and a seat at the table. Your personal life ushers in supportive conversations that drive your purpose. So how exactly do you go about building lasting relationships? You must step out of your comfort zone.
Pushing past your comfort zone is scary. But you have to forge your weaknesses and take a risk at trying something new. You probably are asking, what does that mean? See, you usually do what is comfortable and rely solely on your strengths, giving little thought to your weaknesses because you are afraid of failure. However, you are already good at what you do even when you never step out of your norm to do something different. So when adding how you communicate with people, you make room to improve your ability to pitch your skills and really showcase your abilities. This is uncomfortable at times because you are your worst critic.
For every new skill that you acquire, you can add a booster to what you have mastered. You build your business and career resume, as well as your appeal for others desiring to work with you. Ego has to be put to the side when you are working on your personal brand that interfaces with the relationships you are building. It takes immense vulnerability to exhibit your strengths and weaknesses because seldomly do we want to expose our areas of improvement.
Share your skills and talents with the people you are most in contact with that support your vision and dreams. You already make your work look easy, and when asked about your processes, don’t be afraid to open up. People around you admire you and watch everything you do, hoping to learn something new. “Each one, teach one” is more than a cliché; it truly builds connections and opens doors that you could not have imagined. You don’t have to become a “know-it-all” or even a “yes” person, but you can lend your skills to your career and work environment that showcases what you know.
So let’s talk about how to effectively build lasting relationships. Aside from being vulnerable, you have to also be real about who you are to avoid imposter syndrome. When you connect with authentic people, you can easily express what you need help with and work with people who encourage your growth. Superficial relationships only lead to detrimental progress. Once you have prioritized your skills, you can network with individuals who share the same core values as you. This is a necessity as you strive to live out your purpose.
Being receptive to others who don’t necessarily think like you is a healthy mix of what you know. Different perspectives sharpen your ideas and focus and help you further understand the direction you are going with your dreams. Building sincere relationships does not require everyone to always agree with what you say. Sometimes an opposing thought encourages critical thinking before final decisions are made. Having “yes” people around you is not the purpose of networking. The right relationships will motivate you to take action even when you are scared. You have a message and a story to share, so those same relationships will help people who look to you for answers.
The initial point was to say that walking into a room can be intimidating when you are the new face taking up space. Unless you are willing to open yourself up to being misunderstood, the relationships you currently have will not flourish. Sitting around and not asking questions and winging it will lead to disaster. You do not have to work alone and keep secrets to be successful. No matter how saturated a business niche is or highly competitive a career field is, someone is willing to be your “bestie” as you both climb to the top. Even in your personal life, someone is rooting for you and doing the work alongside you as you lead by example.
Getting personal with yourself and the skills you have is paralyzing. You may have high expectations of yourself, so be mindful of placing those same expectations on others. Understanding that you need people around you to stay encouraged is polarizing if you like working alone. The reality is, the right people will gravitate toward you, and discernment will guide your relationships. When mutual respect is present, navigating your business, career, and personal life becomes less stressful. The right people hear you differently, and those relationships are naturally built, not forced.