Easy ways to build genuine professional relationships
When I first started at Audienz, I hadn’t realized just how much the tech industry and my role as a consultant focused on people. I learned how much we strive to go above and beyond for our clients. We genuinely want to support them with their goals and ambitions and find ways to better serve their customers. One of the best ways we can support our clients is to connect with them on a personal level. Like any relationship, it takes time to build trust with those you work with, but once you develop that trust, you’ll notice changes in the work, you’ll spend more time in conversation, and sometimes your clients refer to your meetings as the best part of their workday—seriously, this happens!
So, how do you build better professional relationships with your clients (or vendors, freelancers, etc.)?
Ask how they’re really doing. This year has been difficult for everyone in one way or another, and sometimes we just need to take a step back from work and talk person to person. That 30-minute meeting can be the first time all day where your client can pause and take a breather. It has encouraged me to know I’m not the only one feeling surrounded by chaos! Check out our post on how a little empathy goes a long way to dive deeper into the importance of caring for others.
Learn who they are outside of work. Yes, we all spend a lot of time at work, but we all have passions and hobbies outside of work too. Get to know the people you work with and what they like to do in their free time. Do you know about their family? Do they have kids? Take a moment to learn something new about them. We all like to talk about the things we love!
Make it fun. Now that you know more about who they are outside of work, have fun with it! I love traveling, so whenever someone goes on vacation, I ask them how it was because I genuinely want to know and enjoy talking about it. If you have similar interests, it’s just an excuse to have a chat! Work can be stressful or hectic enough with large virtual events or quick-turn deadlines. So, sometimes it’s nice just to have fun with the people you work with!
Find ways to connect virtually. Our team was already working remote the majority of the time, so while the shift was challenging for us, we were able to transition easier and support our clients through that change. A lot of us would connect with people over lunch or stop by their office, and now we can’t do either. We all have had to adjust in certain ways. At Audienz, we’ve been experimenting with virtual lunches, all-company trivia, and turning on our cameras occasionally. We like to plan that last one ahead of time, so we remember to wash our hair or change out of our pajamas!
During these challenging times, it’s more important than ever to build strong relationships. Remember, we’re all human. We all thrive when we make connections and are better for it. This doesn’t have to stop when you’re at work. So, don’t be afraid to focus on your professional relationships and reimagine what that looks like virtually.