Stronger Connections

Tree climbing is a lot like relationship building.

Will you rise to the challenge with a plan to reach the first branch or make the new connection? Are you willing to overcome your fear of falling or rejection? How will you keep up your momentum?

I remember the thrill of climbing the old apple tree at my childhood home. The lowest branch was the easiest to grasp. The higher branches, however, required greater dexterity, self-confidence and focus. One false move could land me in a pile of rotten apples.

Likewise, false starts can jeopardize interactions with colleagues and clients. Here are some ways to branch out and build enduring relationships.

Be Genuine

When you’re authentic, people feel safe to be themselves. Like Humphrey Bogart’s character in “Casablanca” said at the end of the film, “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.”

Be Generous

Don’t be that person who asks to connect on LinkedIn and then immediately tries to sell you something. Instead, be generous with your time, expertise and resources. Be a giver, not a taker.

Be There

Check in with your contacts to see how they are doing as individuals. Communicate openly and honestly. When you demonstrate your compassion, you lay the groundwork for stronger, lasting connections.

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