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Don't Taunt Elephants

Eilidh Milnes

Success in business (and life in general) is about making the right connections. Quality relationships are the key to success, and while building business is the objective, the means are very much to do with emotions at a very human level of contact. 

This means that connecting people; with colleagues, customers and clients on the right level requires a lot of confidence alongside a willingness to be open and to listen. It also requires a degree of resilience, because it can sometimes seem like an uphill struggle. This content is taken from an interview with my associates at Business Aspects Magazine in October 2016.

The Confidence Cornerstone

Confidence alone is not enough when it comes to relationships. Resilience is as vital a quality, if not more important in many situations. For many it is going to be a job of chipping away gradually and taking time to secure relationships. Resilience means adapting where necessary to changing circumstances and developing the necessary self-belief to succeed. As such it is the cornerstone for relationship-building.

Be Mindful of Others 

If resilience draws on inner reserves of strength, then empathy is about how you outwardly communicate with others. The ability to listen to people and understand their concerns is vital, as is being curious about them, showing an interest.  This thoughtfulness is paid back in the form of friendships, repeat business, referrals introductions, increased job satisfaction and happy families.

When I talk to sales teams and other professional groups, I stress the importance of making clients happy and developing friendships. Share a little about you to help them tell you more about themselves, is my advice. Listen out for details that you can pick up to act on later. People love if you recall their special occasions and celebration dates. Read more on this new blog post: "Little things make a BIG Difference." 

Maintain Balance

A successful team is competitive but also mutually supportive. Helping people work together is also a huge part of relationship development. Just as businesses need their people to be responsive to clients and customers, so they need their teams to be responsive to one another. Leaders must learn to look, listen and speak in a way that reflects this. The rewards will come in creating tight teams that are built to last while creating successful business activity.

Don't Taunt Elephants!

It’s important from the very beginning to understand what the measure of success will be. What it will look like for the individuals and teams involved? Keep objectives in balance. It's perfectly normal to feel annoyed or aggrieved at times. There are many variables that can cause an imbalance. The majority of them come down to how one person views or judges the other. If one perceives themselves to be more capable or experienced, or if he/she feels a need to prove or defend their actions then one or the other is going to feel unfairly treated. 

If this happens to you, I suggest to take a time out for review. Life is a balancing act! There's no room for blame or acrimony. Here are Sergeant Schlock's simple rules which are great advice if or when you feel like upsetting the balance.

  1. Don't taunt elephants 
  2. Don't stand next to anybody who taunts elephants 

If you think that happiness is merely linked to hard work, then perhaps it's time to tune into Shawn Achor; The Happy Secret to Better Work.

Okaydokee that's us for today. See you back here in a couple of weeks. #EverPositive Eilidh