As we go through life, we are moulded by interactions with people from our parents and grandparents to our friends, teachers and colleagues.  The basic foundation is laid by parents where physical, emotional and social development leads to the development of one’s personality, life choices and overall behaviour¹.  Once we start journeying on the highway called LIFE, however, we are shaped by the decisions we make, both in our personal and business lives.

Relationships are important.  They make us feel safe and help us to deal with stress.  Although this does not refer solely to business relationships, when it comes to lasting business relationships in today’s professional world, there are a few pointers which we can all take on board.  Be authentic, identify shared goals and values, foster mutual respect and develop trust ².  So much is taught by business gurus on the subject of relationships, yet time after time, businesses find themselves in a downward spiral as a result of poor relationships.

Over the past 30 years I have built business relationships with a number of companies and people.  Some have flourished with the knowledge of ‘I’ve got your back’ and ‘we are working toward a common goal with mutual successes’’ others have sadly not made the grade and looking back, it is quite evident that the pointers referred to above were missing.  It is about giving as much as you expect in return.  In the end, only you can determine how a relationship grows or dies.

As we work through the challenges which Covid has foisted on us, let us not forget that communication is key and no-one is perfect. Practise kindness in the face of fear, be grateful, weather the storm together and bring in a little humour³.

This blog is dedicated to Stephen Hurst who always brought in a little humour but was authentic, straight talking and trustworthy.  He leaves behind a legacy of friendship, good business practise, deep trust and a genuine love for people and the toy industry.

References

  1. parentingni.org
  2. smallbiztrends.com
  3. discovery.co.za/corporate/covid-19-tips-to-manage-and-protect-relationships