I'll admit, the discussion of relationships in business isn't anything new.
But -- new research found in the last five years has discovered the basic principles to close relationships and it turns out, it's easy to do.
Today we investigate a few immutable tricks to relationships that the other bloggers haven’t caught on to.
The Foundations of a Business Relationship
This section will focus on the basics of fostering a relationship and how it can be tactfully done.
According to research done by psychologist Roy Baumeister, it is found that people naturally grow to like others whom they see regularly. Now this is a tough nut to crack within IT because your job is, ideally, to NOT be seeing your clients often.
To up the frequency of your interactions without being needy or downing your client's servers, some IT techs have recommended sending clients weekly or monthly reports. This also helps them realize the MSP fees and that they are going towards something.
Baumeister expands on his research and it was determined that to best foster close relationships the interactions must be non-negative.
In other words, if you employ the idea of frequent interactions and make the interactions positive or neutral, the bonds between people will grow. Weekly and monthly reports are a great way to deliver on this. However, within IT shops and really any business in general, conflict is bound to happen. So what do you do? Isn’t that a negative interaction?
Let People Feel Heard:
Within the book Difficult Conversations by three Harvard Professors, their approach to conflict has had world changing implications. Their main takeaway was to let people feel heard. Letting people be heard is an immutable law of relationships.
One trick for dealing with conflict isn’t just listening, but paraphrasing what the other person said. More specifically, acknowledging the emotions they are not sharing. For example; with an angry client, acknowledge they are upset. Acknowledge that they feel stressed out by what happened.
An important note from the authors is that you shouldn’t just blindly accept fault for things. Listening is not the same as admitting blame or fault. Your objective should be to learn and listen. This approach helps sway a negative conflict towards a respectful resolution.
Shared Values & Experiences:
A key discussion point that psychologist Roy Baumeister also discovered is that people are more likely to befriend those whom they share common experiences and values. This is a pretty natural approach to relationships. People already do this innately, but now you know. It is proven to bring you closer to people!
So if you walk into a client's office and see a sports cap or video game character on a desk, give it a holler!
That just about does it for our latest discoveries on relationship building. This article is part of a series on Business Relationships by SherpaDesk.
We invite you to keep up with the series by tuning in next week for the next segment of the article!