How many times have you heard the phrase, “it’s not what you know – it’s who you know?” Well sure, you need to know people, but it’s really not about just knowing them, it’s about how you treat them (even if you don’t know them). Building relationships is really the key to personal and business success. Having many unbreakable relationships will allow you to be much more effective in your endeavors.
Relationship Architecture is a term I have been using for almost a decade with regard to building business relationships. I have lectured on the merits of Relationship Architecture to employees, clients, and students and have decided to share my thoughts to a (hopefully) larger audience – therefore, it is the theme of this blog. My goal is to share my experience in Relationship Architecture (both successes and failures) to display “how” and “why” one should build unbreakable relationships.
The funny thing about my philosophy concerning Relationship Architecture is that you have to work harder at it when you are at the top of your game as opposed to when you are not. To truly be effective in constructing relationships, it takes a conscious effort to do it right. When you are at the top of your game and everything is going well, it’s easy to slip into a false sense of having secure relationships. When you are at the top of the game, you are being sought out and people are willing to put up with more of your mistakes. When I ran marketing for the New England Patriots, the saying around the office was, “When you’re winning, the hot dogs are always tasty and hot and the beer is always cold, but if you’re losing, the dogs are cold and the suds are warm & flat.”
Conversely, when things are not going your way, you are on “high alert” to do business and make your relationships stronger. Investing time into Relationship Architecture comes a lot easier when you need to be in that building mode. However, relationships are crucial regardless of the surrounding circumstances. You must always be on your game when it comes to how you treat your relationships. You must look at every new encounter as a potential long term, mutually beneficial relationship.
Most folks have followed the advice of their grandparents who always said, “treat others as you would like to be treated.” My apologies to my elders, but, wrong! That advice is very misleading. Don’t treat people as you would like to be treated. Treat people the way they want to be treated. Relationship Architecture is necessary, because the only way to accomplish this is to do it by design. You cannot “fly by the seat of your pants” if you are going to be effective. It is imperative to invest time to understand what they want and how they want to be treated.
I believe in this to my very core, so I will share my thoughts and philosophies and tell stories that will provide the blueprint to build remarkable relationships, and to truly become a Relationship Architect.