Keys to success? Start with relationship building

I was cleaning out some folders and ran across notes from a discussion about success with a director at a former employer.  I’ve always been intrigued by what makes a person successful, and found her thoughts enlightening.

Relationships come first
My director stressed the importance of building relationships, particularly important at that organization, L.L.Bean. First, because it’s the right thing to do — we’re all people, after all — but it also helps you in your job:

  • On a practical level, a good relationship helps builds your personal and professional credibility. That should enhance the credibility of your perspective and help influence the outcome.
  • Good relationships with co-workers make the work more enjoyably and productive.

Take people at face value
Yeah, you’ll run across people with questionable scruples, but start by assuming the best. With that as a foundation, build trust, and remember that everyone sees the world differently. Perhaps her most salient point: be open to disagreement with your point of view, and resist the urge to automatically push back against other views.

Be a learner
In this ever-changing world, it’s crucial to stay abreast of new techniques, technologies, and information. Be a constant learner: read about best practices, take classes, or development sessions. This helps develop your potential, and may even change your world view.

Your turn. What advice have you been given?

Related blogs:
9 things L.L.Bean taught me

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  1. #1 by Tony on April 15, 2013 - 10:08 am

    I agree that the foundation to relationship bulding starts with trust. I heard the best advice from Covey on how to do this in it’s most simplest form. He said to make a committment with someone, keep it and repeat. That committment could be as simple as meeting for a cup of coffee but be there, be on time and start to establish credibility with that person.

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