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5 "Musts" For Successful Business Relationships
By: Jonathan R Taylor


Whether we own our own business or work in a "sea" of other employees, we all have to deal with and relate to other people - people who often get on our nerves, don't think like us, or just aren't interesting. Theodore Roosevelt once said, "The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people." So what does this "getting along" look like? Here are 5 time-tested skills that you can cultivate to improve your relationships with customers and co-workers.

1. Listen - It is so easy, in conversation, to think about what you are going to say next or to let your mind drift to what you are going to do later in the day. If you actually listen to the other person with sincere interest, you will stand out as someone that is good to "do business with" because you care and are interested in solving the problems of others. Above all, don't interrupt. There is nothing that says "I don't care!" more than interrupting the person you are talking to.

2. See The Other Person's Perspective - "If there is any one secret of success," said Henry Ford, "it lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view and see things from that person's angle as well as from your own." Imagine what a boring world you would live in if everyone thought just like you. This doesn't mean that some ideas are not superior to others, but in dealing with other people, you must remember to take every idea into consideration and make the other person feel validated.

3. Remember Names - Who doesn't like to hear the sound or their own name or see their name in print? Think about that the next time you visit the Washington Monument or see an advertisement for a business named after the founder. Dale Carnegie stated it this way, "We should be aware of the magic contained in a name and realize that this single item is wholly and completely owned by the person with whom we are dealing...and nobody else. The name sets the individual apart; it makes him or her unique among all others. The information we are imparting or the request we are making takes on a special importance when we approach the situation with the name of the individual. From the waitress to the senior executive, the name will work magic as we deal with others."

4. Encourage - Most people don't like to be criticized and will stay away from people who come across as condescending or critical. So, be careful of the way your body language, speech, and tone of voice are being perceived by people you interact with. If you aren't sure, ask someone you trust. And definitely, encourage those around you with your good sense of humor. Victor Borge, the famous comedian, once said, "Laughter is the shortest distance between two people."

5. Be Humble - Really, all of the above can be summarized in the admonition to be humble. How many people do you know who talk about themselves all the time or always seem to find a way to let you know how well they are doing? We are all this way at times, but you must strive to kill this character flaw in yourself! Esteem others as better than yourself and you are sure to find success in all that you do!

About the Author

Jonathan R Taylor is the author of The Coach's Career Tips and Resources. He helps his clients Love Their Work! You can subscribe at

"Knowledge is power. It takes a long time to harness enough power to even talk about it." - Don Juan, speaking in "Journey to Ixtlan: The Lessons of Don Juan", by Carlos Castaneda, 1972

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