“A long long time ago, I can still remember…” how I was taught the power of connection and the importance of maintaining relationships. As I teach a class this semester on personal skills, (studying, communication, college success), this topic came up one week, and prompted a lengthy discussion. I had 10 students in front of me, talking with such deep, philosophical thoughts, my gears started turning. If I am “teaching” these students the importance of connecting and creating positive relationships, why am I not practicing what I preach? I guess I’ve always been, I just haven’t put the “connection” together.
Years ago, I was introduced to a speaker who took the words right out of my mouth. His entire speech to my (at the time) college students was EVERYTHING I wanted to tell them, but didn’t have the words together. He emphasized the importance of making connections and treating those connections with the utmost respect and devotion they deserve. (The Golden Rule came to mind, but he went deeper than that!) The power of connection and relationship building goes beyond just putting a name/face/personality together. Creating a connection/building a relationship can be a meaningful bridge to something beyond your imagination.
Let me repeat that…
Creating connections can be a meaningful bridge to something BEYOND your imagination.
Back to my current students. We had an hour long conversation about “What do you have to offer, and what does relationship building mean to you?” They started talking about academics (since that’s the basis of the class) but there was one student who broke free from the academic mindset and started talking about extracurricular relationships. And that’s where my mind started going a mile a minute. I started thinking about how my business relationships have become more than business, we’ve become friends/companions/a tribe. I recently thought about how by simply taking care of my relationships/customers, I’ve become blessed.
When asked by the students “Why are we talking about this” I had to take a step back. I sat there awkwardly staring at my “notes.” Why were we talking about this? And who was I to teach this? Should I have just showed the keynote speech from the speaker I hired years earlier? Or should I have used my own experiences and knowledge to explain that relationships are huge. Taking care of your people makes life happier, successful-er, and just overall, better. Even something as simple as a “Thank You for Being You” thank you note goes extra far.
I’ve had many a successful sale with Jamberry. I’ve also had many a successful mutually beneficial relationship. That’s because I’ve made sure to cultivate, connect and value the importance of each individual person. I know my people and customers. I’ve actually eliminated the word “customer” from my vocabulary and have replaced it with “friend.” If you get to know me well enough, everyone is a “friend” loosely said, yes, but simply changing the wording in life makes a huge difference. By my consistent use of “Hey Friends,” automatically opens the door for a casual conversation to just happen and flow. Smile, Friends.
At the end of the day, the relationships you cultivate can take you further than you ever anticipate. Be kind to your relationships. Foster, love, nourish and appreciate them.