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April 5, 2023

Relationship Building: The Essential Step You’re Missing

Post By:
Michelle Hernandez
In-House Contributor
Commercial Real Estate Advisor
Michelle Hernandez, PA with RelatedISG Realty
Guest Contributor:

Human beings are social creatures; we thrive on connection and relationships with others. But not all connections are created equal and many can go nowhere fast. The magic of  building strong, meaningful, and fulfilling relationships happens when we approach connections with a deep sense of purpose and intention, versus aimless interaction.

When we are intentional with our connections, the outcomes can be limitless. 

Being intentional is the key to fostering strong relationships, ones that can create a sense of community, share objectives, and generate opportunities for both personal and business growth.

So– how can we be more intentional?

How Intentional Connections Deepen Relationships

Intentional connections are essential for personal and professional growth for several reasons:

  1. They help us build a strong support system. When we have intentional connections, we build a network of people who share our goals and values. These people can offer us support, guidance, and encouragement when we need it most.
  2. They open doors to new opportunities. Intentional connections can introduce us to new opportunities and help us expand our network. These connections can lead to new job opportunities, collaborations, partnerships and communities.
  3. They foster trust. Intentional connections are built on a foundation of shared values and interest. This shared foundation creates trust and makes it easier for us to work together and collaborate effectively.
  4. They help us achieve goals. Intentional connections can lead to both personal and professional opportunities to help you achieve your goals. When we have strong relationships with mutual interests, we are more likely to connect with those who may benefit from our services or products, or find people and communities who share our values and visions.  

How to Cultivate Stronger Relationships

It all starts with being more intentional. Intentional connections lead to strong relationships. A strong relationship can bring happiness, fulfillment, opportunity, and success in every aspect of life. Whether you want to build a personal or professional relationship, there are some essential elements to consider in cultivating stronger relationships.

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Establishing trust: Trust is the foundation of every strong relationship. Without trust, it is difficult to build and maintain a long-lasting relationship. Trust is built through honesty, integrity, and consistency.

Active listening: Listening is critical to relationship-building. It helps you understand the other person's perspective and build empathy. When you actively listen, you show the other person that you value their opinion and respect them.

Authentic communication: Communication is key to any successful relationship. It means being genuine, honest, and straightforward. Avoid passive-aggressive behavior or hiding your true feelings, as it can damage the trust in your relationship. Instead, be clear and direct about your needs, expectations, and boundaries.

Offering value: Building strong relationships requires a willingness to give and take. Offer value to the other person by providing help, support, or advice whenever possible. Show interest in their life and take the time to understand their needs and goals.

Being consistent: Finally, consistency is crucial in building strong relationships. It means being reliable and dependable, showing up when you say you will, and following through on your commitments. Being consistent helps to build trust and reliability, which are essential elements of any strong relationship.

Practical Ways to Cultivate Intentional Connections for Business

Now that we understand the importance of intentional connections, how can we practically foster them to support our business goals?

  1. Attend Networking Events: Networking events are a great way to meet new people who share our interests and goals. These events can be industry-specific or activity-specific networking events. Attending these events allows us to meet new people, exchange ideas, and make meaningful connections.
  2. Join Professional Associations: Professional associations are groups of people who share a common profession, industry or shared interest. Joining these associations can provide us with access to a network of professionals who can offer us support and guidance. These associations often host events, conferences, and seminars, which provide opportunities for us to make intentional connections.
  3. Participate in Online Communities: Online communities are a great way to connect with people who share our interests and goals. Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook offer groups and communities where we can connect with others who share our passions. Participating in these communities allows us to build relationships with people from all over the world.
  4. Volunteer: Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, make a difference in our community, and build intentional connections. When we volunteer, we often work alongside people who share our values and goals. This shared experience can create strong bonds and lead to meaningful relationships.
  5. Attend Conferences and Seminars: Attending conferences and seminars is another way to meet new people and make intentional connections. These events bring together people from all over the world who share a common interest or goal. Attending these events allows us to learn from experts in our field, exchange ideas and make meaningful connections.
  6. Leverage social media: Social media can be a powerful tool to generate connections. You can use social media to identify like minded individuals or ideal organizations, connect with your target audience and build relationships, as well as communicate your thoughts and share valuable content. Make sure you are intentional about the platforms you use- be active on the platforms where your ideal audience spends most of their time.

When you're out and about making intentional connections, also consider tenure- is this person or organization established or emerging? Beyond shared interest, timing can be powerful. Connecting during the same stage in growth or complimentary stage can present various opportunities for alignment and mutual support.

Building strong relationships takes time, effort, and commitment. Cultivating intentional connections doesn’t happen overnight, but it can absolutely enrich your life. When these relationships operate as a network, the individual relationships become a community- and a strong sense of community can have a ripple effect of positive impact on our lives.

As we navigate life and business, it's important to keep in mind these benefits of intentional connections and consciously cultivate them in our day to day life.

If you’re looking for more intentional networking events, follow me for updates on my next Ladies Executive Golf Society (LEGS) event, where ladies come together to connect over learning and playing golf. Let's make intentional connections a priority in our lives, and see how they can help us achieve our goals and personal fulfillment.