It takes time and effort to build powerful business relationships. People are rarely going to trust you because you tell them you are trustworthy. People will only trust you when you prove by your repeated actions that you are trustworthy.
When people struggle to build strong business relationships, many times, the problem is that they get in their own way. We can avoid these mistakes by understanding the key ways we sabotage our efforts. The three most common ways to derail business relationships are when your ego needs to be stroked, when you are not controlling your emotions and lacking energy.
Sometimes people are more concerned with being right than achieving their goals. Sometimes, they want recognition even though it can cost them part of their agenda. In these situations, individuals sacrifice desired outcomes to boost their egos.
Frank Carone, chairman of Oaktree Solutions and co-author of Everyone Wins! How You Can Enhance and Optimize Business Relationships Just Like Ultra-Wealthy Entrepreneurs, explains it this way: “Many of the most successful entrepreneurs are extremely disciplined about choosing amazing outcomes over having their egos stroked. Getting credit and being told how great they are is usually meaningless compared to getting substantial results.”
This is no small feat. It is easy to let our egos sometimes get the better of us. For example, social reinforcement of our self-image is a powerful reward for most people. That can be especially true if you have accomplished great things. But ego commonly conflicts with getting ideal outcomes, such as a better price when you sell your company, having your business relationships introduce you to people that can make you more successful and attaining the loyalty of your employees.
Top entrepreneurs can push ego aside because they consciously try to emphasize and focus on the other person or other people, not themselves. This leaves very little space for your ego to take over and drive the situation.
Negative Emotions Take Control
Because of the actions of your business relationships, there are times you will likely feel angry, frustrated or anxious. Your feelings may be wholly justified. But you must keep them from translating into actions that diminish your ability to create powerful supportive business relationships. Out-of-control negative emotions can ruin your ability to build rapport and achieve greater professional and personal success.
Succumbing to emotional reactions usually means you are not thinking things through as best you can. Consequently, you will likely make bad judgments that will further complicate matters.
“Among many entrepreneurs, anger is one of the more common adverse emotional reactions. Becoming angry is fairly common in intense business environments,” says Carone. “Angry individuals tend to overreact, blowing issues out of proportion and distracting from important considerations. Some people see angry outbursts as equating with power. They see ranting and raving as showing who is in charge. The reality is that anger usually demonstrates helplessness and frustration. That means you need to keep your anger in check and deal with situations calmly, objectively and disciplined.”
As much as possible, stay calm and poised. This conveys that you control your life and can help to de-escalate overwrought situations where others are tense and acting out.
A Lack Of Energy
While business relationships can be drawn to you because of your high energy and “can do” perspective, they are likely to move away if you exhibit low energy and a “can’t do” attitude.
In almost every situation, you need to be upbeat, and your energy level needs to be high. However, you will usually not be taken seriously if you are over-the-top upbeat and positive. For example, if there are complications in a situation, being unrealistically optimistic will only hurt your credibility. Better to set out the specific difficulties, reiterate your vision or solutions and be very reassuring that following your recommendations will produce desired outcomes.
Ultimately, your self-assurance is a significant factor in your ability to persevere and bring others into your orbit. It is the positive energy you need to build powerful business relationships. Think about it from the perspective of leadership. If you are not excited about your company’s mission and strategy, why would anyone working for you be motivated to give it their all?
When you focus on your business relationships instead of yourself, you create a buffer that keeps your ego and emotions in check and helps you convey positivity and energy to those around you. That, in turn, can help you build strong business relationships.
Russ Alan Prince is the executive director of Private Wealth magazine and chief content officer for High-Net-Worth Genius. He consults with family offices, the wealthy, fast-tracking entrepreneurs and select professionals.