The power of authentic connections in business management

Business connections of employees, remote teamwork and partnership

In the dynamic world of business management, discover innovative ways to connect, grow, and foster a sense of community through authentic relationships.

CREDIT: This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared on Forbes

In the fast-paced world of business management, the importance of building meaningful connections and nurturing mutually beneficial relationships cannot be overstated. In this ever-evolving landscape, we delve into unconventional strategies that can empower leaders to forge genuine bonds. Let’s explore how 20 esteemed members of the Forbes Business Council are championing innovative approaches that transcend the ordinary and drive growth, whilst nurturing a sense of community and shared success.

Connect with empathy

It all begins with active listening and empathy-driven communication. To build relationships rooted in trust, genuinely understand others’ perspectives, needs, and values. This approach fosters mutual understanding, collaboration, and long-term growth for your business.

Matthias Walter Eser, ESER Capital Vermögensverwaltung GmbH

Encourage reverse mentorship

Foster a culture where junior employees mentor leaders on emerging trends and fresh perspectives. This approach not only fuels learning but also builds authentic connections for mutual benefit.

Sabrina Graf, Heartbeat Consulting

Be a matchmaker

Consider yourself a matchmaker when you meet someone new. Pay close attention to the unique aspects of their personality, both in their professional and personal aspirations. By connecting individuals who share common ground, you create a synergy that positions you as the go-to person for answers.

Joan McKinney, Aurora Exhibit Solutions, Inc.

Collaborate internally

Dissolve traditional boundaries by blending teams and engaging in shared activities. This approach enables individuals to experience different subcultures within the organization and form connections that strengthen their overall bond with the company. Remember, it’s not just about working together; it’s about playing together too, as play reveals new facets of personality, encourages creativity, and fosters memorable moments.

Jordan Peace, Fringe

Follow up thoughtfully

Whether in a virtual or in-person meeting, engage in conversation and demonstrate a sincere interest in the other party’s personal and professional life. Ask questions that go beyond the surface, allowing you to build on that knowledge in future interactions. Something as simple as asking about a favorite vacation spot can lead to meaningful follow-up conversations months later.

Jill Buban, Bright Horizons EdAssist Solutions

Invest in others

Give freely – it’s the most valuable “trick” in the book. Get to know people, understand their needs, and offer solutions generously. Demonstrating your willingness to invest in others will not only reveal your character but also encourage reciprocation. People will look to you for advice or services, knowing that you approach business relationships with the same authenticity as personal ones.

Dave Regn, Stream Companies

Foster supportive relationships

As the marketing adage goes, “If they don’t know you, how can they fall in love with you?” Solid business relationships are built on mutual benefits. Instead of solely focusing on what you can gain from your network, treat your connections like friends. Become a valuable resource by offering free help, support, and advice. Don’t forget to celebrate birthdays and achievements; it’s the little things that strengthen connections.

Anna Stella, BBSA

Leverage the power of AI

Harness the insights from existing data to foster authentic and mutually beneficial relationships. Enhance human connections with smart technology to drive better business outcomes.

Lee Blakemore, Introhive

Start with acquaintances

For some, networking can be daunting. Begin by seeking acquaintances or friends of friends to ease your way into making connections. Accept that networking is a vital aspect of growth, both as a leader and as an individual.

Francisco Ramirez, The ACE Group (TAG)

Create a mentorship program

Business owners and leaders can establish mentorship programs within their industry. Offering mentorship to younger or less-experienced entrepreneurs not only gives back to the community but also cultivates relationships that may lead to new opportunities and collaborations.

Fabrice Testa, Maana Electric

Provide something for nothing

There’s no authenticity like sharing your experience and wisdom. Consider providing seemingly proprietary information, as long as it’s yours or you have permission to do so. This level of openness speaks volumes to those seeking guidance in your industry.

Jason Richmond, Ideal Outcomes, Inc.

Host thought leadership forums and workshops

By hosting thought leadership forums and workshops in your industry, you can engage with peers, share expertise, and create a collaborative environment. This unique approach not only forges authentic connections but also positions your business as a knowledgeable industry player.

Henri Al Helaly, Skytex Aero

In the ever-evolving world of business management, embracing these innovative strategies can set you on the path to building authentic connections that drive growth and nurture a sense of community and shared success. It’s not just about networking; it’s about genuinely connecting with others, and in doing so, you’ll discover the true essence of business relationships.

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