The Secrets of Building Relationships, From People Who Make it Their Business to Find You One
Take these steps to find common ground with just about anyone.
So much of business is developing and maintaining long-term relationships. When we spend the majority of our time at work with co-founders, colleagues and customers, you want to make sure that you are putting care into building that rapport.
With Valentine’s Day in mind, we asked entrepreneurs in the industry of helping people find love and relationships for their best advice about making connections that go the distance.
Talia Goldstein, the founder and CEO of the matchmaking company Three Day Rule, said that ultimately, the best business connections take time, energy and thought -- just like your romantic relationships do. So how do you foster a good one?Related: From Judgy Co-Workers to Office Romances, Here's How to Deal With 20 Tricky Work Situations
“Help your connections, and do it because you genuinely want to,” Goldstein said. “I make a point to spend extra time nurturing my business contacts however I can. I make valuable business or social introductions for them, invite them to events and find other ways to help them grow. It almost always benefits me in the end.”
Remember that even if you start out on the same page with someone, it will take some effort and work on both your parts to stay that way.
“People don’t take into account that compatibility isn’t something that can sustain throughout a long-term relationship,” explained Lior Gotesman, the co-founder and head coach of Relationship Hero. “People change throughout the years of being together and what once made them compatible will change as well. By taking that into account, partners will have the right mindset when incompatibility does occur and adapt to the change rather than resist.”
Chemistry or that X-factor might not be apparent right away, especially if you’re putting a lot of pressure on yourself. Goldstein recommended giving new connections room to breathe.Related: Bill Gates Reveals His Ultimate Measure of Success -- And How Warren Buffett Helped Him Realize It
"The best kind of relationships are the ones that burn slowly, so they don't fizzle out,” Goldstein said. “You have to spend time every day putting something into it to nourish that relationship and help it grow.”
Which begs the question, how do go about building rapport with someone you just met? Listen and be open to what the other person is saying.
“A large part of building rapport is making people feel you’re in sync with their thoughts, feelings and even body movements. Using the same words and phrases they use, and generally being agreeable will spark that initial rapport,” Gotesman said.
Goldstein agreed, recommending that in new social situations, asking questions, finding common ground and showing enthusiasm is a good place to start. “Be warm and genuine, and treat people like you have known them for a long time," she said. "Warmth is such an underrated quality that goes a long way in love, business, friendships and everything in between."
Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.