When we start our life, we start learning about relationships. Starting with our close relatives to school mates, and eventually at work, we keep building relationships with people, we get along well.

Within personal or business life, the ability to build and sustain a relationship, plays a pivotal role in our success. Working internally with our colleagues to communicating with our customers, at every moment, we are either building a relationship or destroying it. As it is said that we often forget everything, but the way we are treated, while communicating with people, we have to make sure that the words and tone we choose, we represent ourselves as cordial, sincere, and kind.

When I was working with PricewaterhouseCoopers, I was trained once on building relationships and how to make them effective. Following elements I recall from that training:

  1. Always ask people about their life in general, their interests/hobbies, their family or friends. And write those things down as soon as you get a chance; either on the back of their business card or in your notepad.
  2. Be sincere and show empathy when people open up to you.
  3. Most of the people look to talk to someone, give them an ear. They would always be thankful to you for that moment that they shared with you.
  4. If they ask for your suggestion, be gentle and polite. They may get an answer to their problem through you.
  5. Make a list of your contacts and identify how frequently you should reconnect with them. From a daily check-in to a quarterly hang-out, connect with everyone that are of importance in your life. Every time, as you reconnect, read through your notes about that person and update them after your conversation.

By following these five simple steps, everyone of us can build and sustain mutually beneficial relationships, which is the essence of our lives and leads us to success.