Archive for July, 2015

Building Relationships #NoExcuses


“Few things will pay you bigger dividends than the time and trouble you take to understand people. Almost nothing will add more to your stature as an executive and a person. Nothing will give you greater satisfaction or bring you more happiness”. ~George Kienzle and Edward Dare (from Climbing the Executive Ladder)

Some things to think about:

“How are you doing when it comes to being relational?

Do you spend a lot of time and energy building solid relationships, or are you so focused on results that you tend to overlook (or overrun) others?”

Do you know what motivates the members of your team? How can you help them to achieve their goals and desires?

What can you do to help make our “team” experience better and more enjoyable?

We humans are social beings. A great deal of our happiness, success and experience in life rely on interaction with other people. It is through our contact with others on a daily basis that we acquire knowledge, learn skills, develop our goals and capture the chance at a better future. Meeting one person can unlock possibilities we never knew existed. Unfortunately, in today’s world, socialization is becoming less and less common. We create excuses that stand between us and other people; excuses that separate us from the happiness and the prospects these people can present. In my upcoming book “No Excuses Mind” you will learn how a “No Excuses” mindset can help achieve our goals in different areas of life, but how can a “No Excuses” mindset in social relationships change our lives?

What’s your excuse?

I frequently go to Starbucks and find people standing in line waiting for their coffee. They are surrounded by many people they could connect to, but instead of discovering these people, they are glued to their phones. Everybody is more focused on updating their Facebook profiles than on interacting with those around them. As gripping as modern technology is, it has made it very easy for us to forget to connect to people. We have become addicted to social media, and we let that addiction distract us from pursuing real relationships with real people. These technologies and ‘social’ outlets are excuses keeping us from getting out there, connecting with others and seizing the opportunities that come with socialization.

In our fast-paced culture, we have even found ways to take socialization out of social events! Instead of going to church or temple, many watch the services on television. People buy a seminar tape and watch it instead of attending the seminar. These alternatives don’t feed our human needs to socialize, be part of the community, form relationships, and make friendships. Our dependence on technology causes us to miss on that important part, and we find ourselves unhappy and unfulfilled.

When I go to Starbucks, I high five people. I go there and I enjoy people just like I enjoy coffee. I connect to several people during these few minutes I spend waiting for my coffee. Not only is this rewarding to me on a personal level, it is essential to my growth professionally. It’s all about relationships and your ability to build them.

Relationships and Career:

Take a step back and think about the best sales people you have met. What makes them good? The best enterpreuners have one thing in common: they connect with their clients. A good sales person customizes her approach to make a connection, to communicate and to form a relationship. I have been a sales professional for 17 years, and I can tell you that sales are all about relationships. People don’t only buy the product, they buy you as a salesperson. You sell them the relationship you form with them. Sadly, people are losing the touch, the ability to connect and socialize with other people. With that loss, they are losing chances at a whole new level; they are losing the horizons that entering a social circle can open up.

Social media may be a great marketing tool, but it is personal connection that benefits a relationship. Mass emails are perfect for business, but one-on-one contact is what really builds a professional relationship. Each of these things has its right time and place, and recognizing the difference is of utmost importance. Unfortunately, what we do is use one of these communication tools to replace another. We often create relationships for purposes that benefit our business goals. In the process, we fail to recognize the benefits of friendship, and relationships. I had the honor few years ago to have the CEO of our company visit our offices in CA. We had a great time discussing some of our successes and some of the challenges in business. After a few days, I was absolutly amazed when I received his handwritten note, thanking me for the time I spent with him. I still talk about it even today with my team members, and talk about the impact of his beautiful gesture.

Although modern technology has opened up so many possibilities to business, it has also created one of the biggest traps we fall into in our relationships. We falsely believe that email, text messages and social media can replace the personal touch.

Social media and texting are simply not enough. When I have the chance to meet the person or make a phone call, I will. I will do that because texting and using social media cannot replace the value of the relationship; they are good things, but not good enough.

Adapting to new forms of communication is essential, but it doesn’t mean that giving up the things that work, the things that give the most effect. We have to make the distinction between the situations that call for each method of communication.

I believe the misuse of these new communication methods is an obstacle. Before these tools were invented, people had fewer psychological problems; they were more relaxed. Professionally, we saw more success stories.

What do I want in my day-to-day relationships with others?

How can I relate better to others? What steps can I take to invest in people’s lives?

What will my life look like when I invest in relationships?

“A relationship without trust is like having a phone with no service. And what do you do with a phone with no service? You play games”

“A good relationship is more than something we want—it’s something we need to be our happiest, healthiest, most productive selves. But at home or work, supportive, fulfilling relationships don’t come automatically. They take an investment in time and energy as well as social skills that can be learned.” Trust and relationships are the currency of leadership.

Farshad Asl, Bankers Life, Regional Director