One of the best things you can do to grow both professionally and as an individual is to create and maintain a personal relationship with those around you.
The term personal relationship covers a broad range of human interactions. The term can describe the relationship we have with those we work with or have partnerships with, friendships, and the interactions we have with family. Knowing how to navigate and maximize these relationships can help to do things such as improve your workflow, create a positive work environment, and even help you as an individual, both mentally and physically.
In this article, we will get into specifics about what personal relationships are, and why they are important to build and maintain in both a professional and social sense. We will also discuss methods you can use to build and maintain stronger personal relationships so that you can get the most out of them.
What is Personal Relationship
There is a big difference between just having a relationship with someone and having a personal relationship with them. According to the Oxford dictionary, “a relationship is the way in which two or more people or groups behave toward each other.” This includes even simple interactions, such as the ones you have with your barista or server.
A personal relationship is deeper than this. It is an ongoing relationship between two or more individuals, which requires commitment from both parties in order for the relationship to be maintained. Depending on how close they are, this commitment includes frequent communication, time dedicated to each other, and remembering important life events like birthdays and anniversaries.
There are four major categories that the personal relationship occurs within.
- Families- One of the most obvious sources of a personal relationship is that which one has with their family members. Most often this refers to blood relatives, but it can also refer to those adopted into the family.
- Friends- friends are another great source of personal relationships. For some, these relationships can be stronger than familial ones.
- Business relationships- in terms of networking and growing as a worker, business relationships are vital as they can greatly benefit one’s career.
Although all these are important, let’s pay special attention to business relationships and break them up into further categories. Most people already have a good handle and understanding of navigating relationships with friends, and family. Business relationships for some though may be harder to navigate since they have that added layer of one’s career attached to them.
The Different Types of Business Relationships
No matter who you are or what you do, whether you are the founder of a startup, a student hoping to land a dream job, or an experienced employee looking to further your career, understanding these relationships and their nuances can help you, your business, and career.
A personal relationship in business can be a bit different than the casual ones you have with friends and family. These types of relationships can be a bit stricter, in the sense that you need to maintain a certain level of professionality within them, for them to succeed. Even work relationships that veer into friendships have a level of seriousness attached to them depending on the field you are in.
Below, we will have a quick overview of the different business relationships that you may encounter.
Relationships with Your Clients
If you are a business owner or work in a customer-focused position such as a salesperson, this one will be one of the most important for you. Even if you work on the back end though, knowing how to work with customers is still important.
For most businesses, the personal relationship with clients should be paramount as they are the ones investing in the business. Because of this, it is important to make sure you positively represent yourself and your company when you interact with them. A positive relationship with them can create trust and loyalty to your company. They may even refer you to others. Thus, keeping a strong positive network with clients is vital.
Make sure you also keep up with your clients. Especially if you are filling large orders, stay up to date with them and their needs. If it is appropriate, treat them to dinners or events to further your relationship.
Coworkers and Team Members
Coworkers and team members are your peers. Usually, coworkers are more circumstantial and acquaintance-type relationships, whereas team members are those with whom one works more closely and thus has a stronger connection.
With both team members and coworkers, it is important to maintain cordial relationships or even friendships with them. Conflict should be dealt with and resolved as soon as possible. A team that is in conflict will not be able to work as efficiently as one that has a good bond.
Some ways to avoid conflict or bad feelings are to avoid gossiping about coworkers and not pass the blame onto others unless it is warranted.
The Mentor and Mentee Relationship
Another common relationship found both inside and outside of the office, is that of the mentor and mentee. For a college student, this may be the relationship between them and a professor they are close with.
Having a mentor is great, especially when you are beginning to transfer from school into your career. Having someone that can guide you through skills such as resume maximization and interview preparation can be invaluable to a young person leaving college. Once in a job, a new mentor can help you with questions about the position, confusion on work assignments, and much more.
Even when deep into your career, a mentor can also be a source of guidance. If you are at a crossroads in your job or are facing a moral dilemma, having someone you can talk to is useful in making the best decision for you. Bonus points if they have been in a similar situation.
As a mentor, you can learn a lot too. Most important for this piece, it can help to improve your relationship skills. It can also reinforce the knowledge you are imparting to your mentee and expand your network.
Maintain Relationships with Others in Your Field
Another great thing to do is build and maintain relationships with others in your field. One place to do this is in college. There you can join a major-related fraternity or sorority or be involved in a club related to your major.
Along with making friends, you will have connections that you can use in your professional life. For example, if you are looking for a job, maybe a fraternity brother who graduated before you can get you a connection at his company.
Just make sure to stay in contact with these people, even after graduation. Overall, having these connections will aid you in both social and professional areas of your life.
Why are Relationships Important- Professional Relationships
Now that we have discussed these relationships overall, you are probably asking: why are relationships important? Well, that is our next topic to cover. Maintaining good relationships with those around you not only creates a positive impact on your social needs, but they can positively impact your health also!
First, let’s look at how maintaining positive work relationships help you. After that, we will look at how your casual ones with friends and family create a positive life impact.
You Will Build Trust Among Those Who Support Your Company
As we mentioned, building trust in your customers by creating and maintaining a relationship will instill trust within them. A customer base that trusts you, and your services and products, is essential to the success of any business. If they like what you offer, it will not only keep them coming back but others will come too.
In the same vein, especially if your company is just starting, also make sure to build trust with your investors. Without the help of investors, company growth will be stunted and business opportunities will be missed.
It Makes Work More Enjoyable
Having a great personal relationship with those that you work with makes your job overall much more enjoyable. When you are working alongside those you see as friends, it will make what you do fun as you will be able to view what you are doing as contributing to a greater cause.
It Will Improve Your Work and the Work of Those Around You
Being happy within your workplace does not only increase your happiness, but it also increases your productivity. It has been seen that “people who enjoy working with their coworkers tend to consciously and unconsciously work harder, as they enjoy their current situation and want their company to do well in the future.”
In addition to this, collaboration among teams improves too. Having a good personal relationship with your team leads to members motivating each other, great communication that increases efficiency, and effectively causes everyone to work to the best of their abilities.
It Improves New Team Member Integration and Increases Employee Retention Rates
If you have a team that is already on edge with each other, and you give them a new team member, chances are that person will feel isolated from the group, and it will take a while for them to integrate into the team and get the ball rolling on their work.
On the other hand, a team that loves spending time with each other will be able to break the ice easier and accept the new member. As a result, they will be more productive, and they will likely produce better results. The stronger the personal relationship, the more willing they will be to collaborate and get stuff done.
Employee retention rates will also be higher. This goes back to our point of how having a great personal relationship with team members and coworkers make an employee happier and more efficient. If the employee is happy with where they are, chances are, they will do all they can to stay within the company.
If they are unhappy and feel as though they have no strong connections at work, or worst of all if they feel the work environment is toxic, they will likely take an opportunity to leave if they can. For managers and owners, this creates a headache of paperwork, having to deal with the employee that left, and spending time and resources on onboarding a new team member.
It Keeps You Healthy
Social isolation can bring on a host of health issues. Staying connected, both at work and outside of work will fill that need you have to socialize. As a result, you can minimize the risk of health issues such as depression that isolation can bring on.
Personal Relationship Benefits- Friends and Family
Although creating strong social relationships within work is important, do not neglect the relationships that you have with friends and family. These relationships are just as important. Letting them slide could end up hurting your performance at work.
Relationships Get You through Hard Times
Sometimes, the network you have built may fail, or things may just not be going your way in your job no matter how hard you try. Having a strong support network around you, consisting of friends and family, can help you get over these obstacles that life lays down.
Although your work life may be hard due to situations out of your hands, the support you get from these people will help you to make it through
They Help Us Relate to Others
Having strong friendships helps you to learn how to interact with others. Through friends and family, we learn important lessons such as how to overcome conflict. These are lessons you can take into your workplace, ensuring that you can build a strong personal relationships with your coworkers.
Relationships Keep Us Healthy
Great friends and family will want us to be the best person we can be. As a result, they will encourage us to keep up a healthy lifestyle, so that they can enjoy many decades with us. This healthy lifestyle can lead to mental sharpness and physical fortitude that will help you no matter where you work.
Tips on Building and Maintaining Strong Relationships
Now that we answered the question of ‘why are personal relationships important,’ let’s look at how you can build and maintain them. Building and maintaining a personal relationship does take dedication, but the work you put in will be well worth it, benefiting you in many areas of your life.
Stay in Contact With your Contacts
One of the most important things that you can do, whether these relationships are among friends, family, or people from your professional life, keeping in contact is one of the best ways to build and maintain a relationship with them.
This can be hard in today’s day and age though. Despite all the technology to keep us connected, we can get so bogged down in it that we let relationships slide.
The solution to this is our CRM Dex. Dex brings together LinkedIn, email, and your daily tools to help you keep in touch with everyone you know. Along with keeping up with your people, you can set reminders for important events like birthdays and other information that is so easy to forget. That way, you can stay connected with the people that matter most.
Make Time for Each other
Along with staying in contact with each other, make sure to meet each other in person. Sure, email and texts are great. But the real way we build connections is by being with the people we want to bond with. If you live far away from each other, make sure to at least set-aside time to FaceTime or call each other.
Some ideas for spending time include bringing a new client out for dinner to say thank you for the business, bringing your family to the park for some bonding time, or going to a movie that you and your friends have been excited for the release of. You could even use Dex to help set up these meetings!
Make Sure to Set Boundaries
In both your professional relationships and those you have with friends and family, remember to set boundaries. One way you can do this is to set boundaries on your time. Make sure to not let others monopolize your time, to the point where other relationships or parts of your life begin to slip.
For example, if you promised to spend time with your family, maybe tell that coworker you can’t join them at the bar after work this Friday. This can go the other way too.
Show Appreciation for the People Around You
Make sure to show appreciation for those around you. Even a small showing of appreciation can go a long way. When those around you know that you appreciate them and the relationship you have, it will make the connection stronger.
Listen to What They Have to Say
In today’s age, it is so easy to half-listen to what those around us are saying. Make sure to avoid doing this. When someone is talking to you, give them your full attention. Showing that you are interested in what they will have to say will make them feel noticed and appreciated. It will also help you to get to know them better, and again, help to build new relationships and strengthen old ones.
What is the personal relationship? A personal relationship is a connection that you have with friends, family, and those that you work with. When looking at work relationships in specific, they can be broken down into even more categories like the relationship between coworkers and mentor/mentee relationships.
Remember that these relationships are important because they benefit both you, and those around you. They fill your needs socially, keep you physically and mentally healthy, and can even help your career. We hope that you are now prepared to set out and create great relationships!