“For just $9.99, you can build your relationships with seven little steps.” Just kidding, about the $9.99, but you can definitely improve and build upon your current relationships with some advice from author Mark Sanborn and his book, The Fred Factor. In his book, Mr. Sanborn shares the seven B’s that you can use to help build your relationships. These B’s can help you build both your personal and business relationships. Let’s take a look at each one…
1. Be Real
No one likes someone who is “fake” or a “two-face.” In any strong relationship, you have to be yourself and not pretend to be what you aren’t. Every solid relationship is built upon trust. I inherently trust my friends and customers to be honest with me until proven otherwise. Always be yourself and don’t turn into someone else once the “honeymoon phase” of the relationship is over.
2. Be Interested (Not Just Interesting)
INTERESTING people always attract attention, and there are many people out there who love to be the center of attention. But INTERESTED people attract APPRECIATION. If you show a genuine interest in the other person, they will naturally like you more. Who isn’t a bit flattered by someone who wants to know more about them? If you focus more on being interested in others, people will naturally appreciate and become more interested in you.
3. Be A Better Listener
This goes hand-in-hand with being more interested in people. When you are a good listener, you can gather important information that can help you create more value in your relationships. You can identify shared interests and offer some information that can add both value and depth to your relationships. Common interests or experiences can turn complete strangers into the best of friends.
4. Be Empathetic
Truly try to understand what another person is feeling. Try to understand their point of view and you will naturally become closer to them. A classic example where this can be used is when your child has experienced something that simply sucks. We tend to want to try to make them feel better, offering up a number of positives trying to make them happier. What we need to do is empathize. When something bad happens, be with them and agree that what happened sucks. Don’t try to fix the situation, experience it with them. It seems like the opposite of what you should do, but it will build a stronger relationship because you are trying to understand them, not fix the problem. Sure you can offer some positive advice later, but in the moment, experience the situation with them.
5. Be Honest
I was always taught to be a “man of my word.” You have to stand behind what you say and do what you said you would do. Always keep your promises and don’t make any promises you can’t keep. Honesty truly is the best policy!!!
6. Be Helpful
Always do your best to serve others. It can be something as simple as holding open a door, taking the trash out, or bringing someone their food. All the little things tend to add up. If you can be of service to others, you will be remembered and your relationships will flourish. Try to do something for your spouse that will make their day a little easier. My wife just mentioned we need milk and eggs. I am sure she is thinking she will have to stop by the store after work today, but I got this one!!!
7. Be Prompt
Time is more valuable than money!!! We can always make more money, but we can’t make more time. Don’t waste other people’s time. Help others save time by being prompt and efficient. You can really diminish your relationships if you are not considerate of other people’s time.
It is the little things in relationships that can make the biggest difference. The things on this list are NOT difficult to do, but many people fail to do them. It may be that you are not good with time or maybe you have a tendency to talk more about yourself than show interest in others. Regardless of where you may be falling short, remembering this list and staying true to it’s recommendations can definitely help you provide more value and build stronger relationships. This list is not only a good list for building better relationships but also a list to help build a happier life. Start living by this list today and watch how your life and relationships both can greatly improve!!!