When you talk to others, do you fully engage? Do they? I was watching a discussion panel the other night on TV. It became readily apparent that the talking heads really weren’t listening to one another. Each was simply waiting for a moment of quiet as the cue for when it was his or her turn to speak.
No one really listened. No one really answered any questions. As a result, nothing was really communicated.
I got to thinking about how often this must go on in the boardrooms, in the halls of Washington DC, even on our school playgrounds. No wonder dysfunction seems to be the rule rather than the exception these days.
Almost three years ago (has it really been that long?) I wrote a blog about how being sincere and genuine is the key to building personal and professional relationships that last. Here it is again. Enjoy!
The Real Deal
(Originally posted on June 19, 2012)
As I race around God’s great Earth kissing frogs in the hopes they turn into beautiful princesses, I’m often asked the key to developing and maintaining a healthy network of business colleagues and a pipeline of leads. While there are undoubtedly many ingredients to the “secret sauce” of business success, I have found the most important for me to be developing GREAT RAPPORT.
Webster’s Dictionary defines “rapport” as a “relationship marked by harmony, conformity, accord, or affinity.”
Going further, in my book, rapport is built around sincerity, body language, eye contact, voice tone, and more. Other terms that come to mind include openness, connection, friendship, mutual respect, authenticity, curiosity, cooperation, investment of time, give-and-take, and (perhaps most importantly) being GENUINE. After all, if you aren’t genuine about who you are, your intentions, and what friends and business associates can expect from you, how can you ever enjoy rapport with anyone, personally or professionally? How can you ever establish meaningful relationships?
Success—whether it’s a long-term friendship or a profitable business arrangement—is founded on relationships, and relationships depend on rapport, which depends on being genuine. Each (relationships, rapport, being genuine), ultimately forms the leg of a tripod that supports your personal or professional success. If one of those legs falters or is missing, achieving success, let alone maintaining it, is not possible.
Building great rapport doesn’t happen overnight. It takes active listening, asking questions, and being sincerely curious about friends and colleagues and their lives. People want to be able to depend on you. They want to feel they know who you are—the real, authentic you—and they want to feel they can rely on you doing what you say you are going to do, that you’ll follow through, and that you’ll be there when they need you.
With more than 750 blog readers, nearly 1,000 LinkedIn connections, 750 Facebook friends, some 400 Twitter followers, and 800 newsletter subscribers, this King monkey must be on to something! My business success comes from building great rapport and a bond of trust by being a straight shooter.
What about you? Are you genuine in your relationships, or do you just bide time, listening, but not really hearing? Do you pay lip service, but not really engage? Or are you the REAL DEAL?