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From Andrew Sobel: You don’t have to become good friends with clients or colleagues. But you do need to get to know them as people. That means understanding their background, family situation, likes and dislikes, preferred means of communications, how they make decisions, their risk tolerance, and so on.
From Andrew Sobel: Studies on marriage show that when couples change their traditional environments (i.e., go to new restaurants, places, events, etc.) their feelings of intimacy increase. The same is true of client relationships. When you get outside the office, and interact over a meal, at an arts performance, or during an offsite meeting, you connect in ways you never will in a formal conference room. You talk about different, more personal things. You open up more.
Edgar Schein writes, “When two or more people come together to form a work or task-oriented group, there will first be a period of essentially self-oriented behavior reflecting various concerns that any new member of a group could be expected to experience.” Here are questions to help the team in its forming stage. The questions are designed for each individual to answer and then share with the team. · Read more →
From Andrew Sobel: Here is a sampling of questions you might use to help you get to know your clients as people (but just don’t use them all at once!).
From Aryanne Oade in ChangeThis: “This manifesto is about how to work with such an adversarial character, whether they are your boss, peer or team member. It is about how to use the specific behavior you need to use to help you manage the unclear boundaries, ambivalent motives and occasional duplicitous conduct that characterizes adversarial working relationships. By the end of the manifesto I hope you will have the insight and interpersonal know-how you need to handle these tricky co-workers more effectively and retain the degree of influence in your work with them that you would like to have.”
From Forum Barcelona: Humberto Maturana stated that “power is based on obedience, the person who obeys gives power to the person who orders.” He stated that “men and woman can be equally discriminating, gender doesn’t matter. It depends on the relationship that we as humans establish among ourselves. This deals with relational behavior, it is a way of relating oneself to others, it has nothing to do with the masculine or feminine gender. It is not biological, but cultural.”
Maturana used the example of the shrew, a very common animal in central Europe. This animal, he explained, regularly repeats its path in its daily life. This said, if the shrew changes its path, it returns to its cave, and starts the path again. “First it is surprised, then it repeats the path, and then it invents a new one. Something similar also happens to humans. When there isn’t a routine we become disoriented, but, in the end, we are creative.”
From NY Times: In 1858, a British epidemiologist named William Farr set out to study what he called the “conjugal condition” of the people of France. He divided the adult population into three distinct categories: the “married,” consisting of husbands and wives; the “celibate,” defined as the bachelors and spinsters who had never married; and finally the “widowed,” those who had experienced the death of a spouse. Using birth, death and marriage records, Farr analyzed the relative mortality rates of the three groups at various ages. The work, a groundbreaking study that helped establish the field of medical statistics, showed that the unmarried died from disease “in undue proportion” to their married counterparts. And the widowed, Farr found, fared worst of all.
From Change This: “Identifying your core relationships is the vital first step you must take in shifting how you perceive your role in any business relationship. Instead of just wishing that better business contacts would magically appear in your professional life, drive the business contacts you’ve already established to more productive and rewarding levels. The initial step of pinpointing your core relationships will lead you toward participating with an actual person rather than with a digital line in a CRM system or on Linked In. A process, however, for driving your core relationships to success, is also vital. I call this process understanding your contact’s Relational GPS™.”