Building relationships and nurturing them

My grandfather gave me the best advice I have ever received. He said “Nurture every relationship you have and value them. Relationships are like gardens – As long as you water them, weed them, you will be delighted when you set foot there. Otherwise, when you visit your garden, it may be like a forest with overgrown vegetation. There will be no manicured gardens for you to walk on, no flowers in bloom for you to enjoy”. This advice received from him during my thread ceremony in Lucknow when I was 13 years old, but it stuck to me for life. Initially I started walking well maintained lawns and gardens and also in the wild to practically understand what he meant but as I started growing up, I understood clearly what his advice meant, and leveraged it to my benefit.

I became an avid relationship management practitioner. In truth today, my widespread network is my true net worth and solid professional collaborations my strength. Relationships help concretise business growth and creates a warm layer of support and wind beneath your wings. But its not talent which you inherit by birth. It’s a carefully created mindset. One caveat emptor though. This mindset needs to be spontaneous and genuine. People can quickly catch on to a fake attempt to create relationships for returns. And the world today is full of such fakes!

Change your mindset to be more relationship oriented

They say that the mind works only when it opens. So the first step is to truly reboot and reinvent. A closed mind never favours a relationship building persona. Creating a mindset to build relationships does not mean that you have to become a people pleaser. Just be what you are but open your radar to be receptive, bring the big E- Empathy to the fore. Do not limit your interfaces to robotic transactional experiences. Try to find a common ground. Try to connect with the other person somehow. A relationship emerges when the other person connects with you whenever you reach out.

Since we are here talking of business relationships, it is natural that a business relationship gets built on positive moments of truth and mutual value add. The common ground here is one – achieving business goals. If you look back in your life, you will surely have your best partner in cricket or in class. You always brought out the best in each other. It’s very similar in a business relationship. But, there is no magic here. You genuinely need to care, understand and put forward your very best efforts.

If it’s a client, go above your call. Treat it like your own business. Demonstrate that you can create real and measurable change. Create high impact work and make a difference.

A relationship mindset goes beyond contributing to needs, mutual benefit and building trust. It becomes a quest to create a long term sustainable partnerships

Your Network is your true ‘net worth’

When you build sustainable relationships you have happy clients, colleagues who remain friends for life, stakeholders who benefitted from your counsel and interventions. This is in addition to your personal friends, connects and contacts. The trick of the trade is to continue to engage with them meaningfully. Engaging with them through social media is a low hanging fruit so follow them, like their posts, comment on their posts with relevance regularly.

With physical events making a comeback, its an ideal platform to meet people. Establish new relationships and ‘meet’ some of your old friends and associates. Interface is always more important than meeting on digital platforms. Value addition in any relationship comes from adding worth through your intervention. Exchange views and counsel where you can. Even cross connect with your own network.

Its key to stay connected. When you really need anything, just try out your network, you will be surprised at what happens.

“Whether they stem from business or personal situations, our relationships are what support us, connect us, and allow us to progress in all aspects of our lives.” Michelle Tillis Lederman


The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Amitesh Banerjee
Amitesh Banerjee is a passionate result driven professional with three decades of multi-country, multi-domain experience in Communications, Marketing & Advertising. He has worked for reputed organisations in leadership positions including JWT, ITC, New Zealand Dairy Board, Seychelles Marketing Board, Perfect Relations, Genesis Burson Marsteller, Adfactors PR among others.
Amitesh’s last assignment was with the Della Group and now works as Senior Consultant Strategy & Public Relations, Hill & Knowlton Strategies India. Amitesh is a proud catalyst of positive change.

1 Comment on "Building relationships and nurturing them"

  1. Very relevant int today’s world specially the value add section. It also creates excellent references creating a ripple marketing effect. Well written Amitesh.

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