Relationship Breakthroughs (No. 2): Connect Personally

How do you get a breakthrough in a relationship? How do you take it to the next level? There are a number of actions that will help you do this. Over the next 15 blog entries or so, I am highlighting these one by one. Some are simple; some are very challenging. All help you move in the right direction.

Number (2): Connect Personally

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.

Connecting personally also means getting below the surface of the constrained and controlled professional conversations we often have at work. It means achieving some kind of emotional resonance. This could occur due to an argument or disagreement. It could be provoked by a personal crisis on the part of one party. It could occur because you are bold enough to ask some thoughtful questions about the other person’s dreams and aspirations.

Ask clients about themselves. Ask questions like “What else do you dream of accomplishing?”  Or, “What’s most satisfying about your job? Least satisfying?” Or, “What leaders have you worked under who inspired you?” Find out about their likes, dislikes, and favorites.

Go to this link–“How Well?”–in my article archive and you can download a PDF called “How Well Do You Really Know Your Clients?” (you’ll see the title in red, “How Well.pdf–click on that to download the PDF).  It contains an extensive checklist of all the things you ought to learn about your best clients.

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