People are more than 10 Digits on your Mobile – The Art of cultivating Relationships

Build your unique currency. Be it staying relevant, trust, empathy, diversity…anything that forms the foundation to your culture and equity. Well, both! When I read the masterpiece book ‘Return on Relationship’ by Ted Rubin & Kathryn Rose, I simply became a fan of it to the extent that I keep reading it still from time to time. Day in and day out we all keep Return on Investment in mind. Why is it so that we take our relationships in the form of – ‘I will reach out to you only when I know you can do something for me’. I have seen fewer people with the approach of keeping the spark on, dropping in a hello, catching up, keeping trust as the pedestal. I can say this for myself for sure as ROR builds a heart-to-heart connect and I believe that this connect forms the DNA of any relationship. So here, ROI is the best practice and ROR is the next practice.

In my career journey till now in the past 24 years, I firmly believe that the pursuit of genuine human connections is the cornerstone of sustainable business success. In today’s fast-paced and data-driven world, it’s tempting to view individuals as mere numbers or data points, but doing so undermines the very essence of what drives meaningful relationships and, ultimately, long-term business growth.

People are not just mobile numbers to be saved in our contact lists; they are complex, multifaceted beings with unique perspectives, aspirations, and emotions. By recognising and embracing this fundamental truth, we can cultivate deeper, more authentic connections that transcend transactional interactions and lay the foundation for lasting, mutually beneficial relationships.

In this article, I’d like to share ten essential points that have guided me in shaping my approach to understanding the pulse of the people I engage with and fostering deeper conversations that foster true connection.

Cultivate Genuine Curiosity: Approach every interaction with a sincere desire to learn about the other person’s experiences, perspectives, and aspirations. Ask thoughtful questions, actively listen, and demonstrate a genuine interest in their stories.

Practice Empathy: Strive to understand the emotions, motivations, and contexts that shape an individual’s worldview. Empathy allows us to connect on a deeper level and build trust by demonstrating that we genuinely care about their perspectives and well-being.

Embrace Vulnerability: True connection thrives in an environment of vulnerability and authenticity. Be willing to share your own struggles, challenges, and personal stories, fostering an atmosphere of trust and mutual understanding.

Respect Diversity: Celebrate the richness of diverse backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. Approach each interaction with an open mind, acknowledging and appreciating the unique perspectives that diversity brings to the table.

Cultivate Emotional Intelligence: Develop the ability to recognise and navigate the emotional landscapes of both you and others. Emotional intelligence enables us to communicate with greater clarity, empathy, and sensitivity, fostering deeper connections.

Engage in Active Listening: True listening goes beyond merely hearing words; it involves actively processing, interpreting, and responding to the deeper meanings and emotions behind the spoken words. Practice active listening techniques to demonstrate genuine engagement and understanding.

Foster a Collaborative Mindset: Approach interactions as collaborative opportunities, where both parties contribute their unique perspectives and expertise to achieve a common goal. This mindset fosters a sense of shared purpose and mutual respect.

Embrace Patience and Flexibility: Building meaningful connections takes time and effort. Be patient and flexible, allowing relationships to evolve organically and adapting your approach to the unique needs and preferences of each individual.

Nurture Relationships: Relationships are living entities that require consistent nurturing and attention. Make a conscious effort to stay connected, follow up, and invest in the growth and well-being of your relationships, both personal and professional. In 3 words – ‘be genuinely concerned’.

Return on Relationship (ROR): While traditional business metrics focus on financial returns, it’s equally important to consider the long-term value and impact of the relationships you cultivate. Measure the intangible benefits of trust, goodwill, and mutual understanding that stem from deep, meaningful connections.

These ten points are some of the things I learnt which helped me transform our interactions from mere transactional encounters to genuine, human-centric connections that foster trust, understanding, and mutual growth. It’s a journey that requires commitment, empathy, and a willingness to step outside our comfort zones, but the rewards are profound.

In a world where data and numbers often take precedence, let us remember that behind every statistic, every transaction, and every business decision, there are real people – with dreams, aspirations, and a profound desire to be seen, heard, and understood. By prioritising human connections, we not only enrich our personal and professional lives but also lay the foundation for sustainable, purpose-driven businesses that truly make a positive impact on the world around us.

So, let us embrace the art of understanding people and cultivating deeper conversations, for it is in these moments of genuine connection that we unlock the true potential of our relationships and pave the way for a more compassionate, collaborative, and prosperous future.

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

Ankoor Dasguupta
Ankoor, President’s Select Member of Leaders Excellence [MLE] at Harvard Square, is a prominent figure in the industry, serves as a mentor, advisor, and speaker at the Indian Institute of Film Training & Digital Marketing (IFTDM). Holding a significant role on the Advisory Board of the Marketing Department at ISBR Business School, Ankoor is also on the Advisory Board of Global Mathematics & Mathematics Olympiad Graded Assessment Test with Competition. Ankoor is also an empanelled Speaker at SpeakIn which also runs the Indian Speaker Bureau.

Extending beyond academia; Ankoor has been honoured with the "CIRCLE OF EXCELLENCE 2024" award by Passion Vista and recognized as the "MAN OF EXCELLENCE, 2024" by the prestigious Indian Achievers' Award. Additionally, he received the "LEADER 2.0 AWARD, 2023" from adgully and was named a "DIGITAL KAIZEN LEADER by DigiAdCon 2024”, Ankoor’s contributions to the field of marketing are widely acclaimed, marking him as an inspiring thought leader in his domain. Ankoor is also a member of IMA India’s CMO Forum.

Ankoor is a key member of the esteemed International CMO Council, member of MarketingKind, and also a GLG Council Member. Ankoor keeps delivering lectures at top Business Schools and colleges at University of Delhi. As an industry expert, Ankoor has also been a member of the interview panel at MICA for their PGP Group Exercise & Personal Interview PI process for PGDM-C/PGDM selection for two consecutive years.

Recognized by DMA Asia as a marketing Ace, Ankoor is now also a LinkedIn Top Voice, advocate of social impact, driven by kaizen, Ankoor believes in the power of Energy and Energize

Ankoor is practicing his PCC (Level 2) coaching from the gold standard International Coaching Federation [ICF]. Ankoor is a people's person and has worked across functions in marketing and advertising with a pedigree of 24 years and ongoing exciting journey. Trained from Dale Carnegie in Mentoring to Develop Talent, Ankoor is a marketing practitioner, a coach, a knowledge manager, a team builder, a thought-leader, an avid writer with close to 100 published articles / interviews and is a Thought Leader, Ankoor wears the hat of a CMO as well. Ankoor's leisure pursuits are reading, effective listening and percussion.

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