Growing a successful business boils down to relationships. Without relationships, there would be no business. What would it be like with a team that communicates clearly and is engaged? What if you had referral partners who really “get” your business and make valuable introductions, or clients who are raving fans and continue to do business with you?
Great leaders and relationship builders intuitively notice and care about others. They listen, they value the other person’s perspective and contributions, and they seek to help and be of service for the other person rather than being self-focused. This concept is called Intrinsic Validation.
7 Principles of Intrinsic Validation:
- Look for the good – it’s easy to get caught up in the fault-finding, judging habit of noticing all that is wrong or annoying in a situation or with a person. I challenge you to practice looking for what is going right or what someone is doing well. A simple game for practice is called Green Flag/ Red Flag. Notice all that is going right or that is positive (the green flags) rather than the negative judgements (the red flags.) With practice, this can be a new way of showing up in the world and of interacting with others. You may be surprised to realize how much judging and negative “talk” you engage in.
- Say it – often we notice something that we like or that someone has done well, but we hold back, keeping that observation to ourselves. Change that habit and actually acknowledge someone for a great performance or speech, a well-written article, handling a sticky client situation, or even a fantastic new haircut. It goes a long way to be acknowledged and helps build positive feelings and relationships.
- Listen – look for verbal and non-verbal openings or clues that can provide insight into what the other person is experiencing or thinking. As you notice these hints, you can begin to learn more about others.
- Step into the Other Person’s World – ask questions that show you truly understand what they are saying. Ask clarifying questions and ask about their ideas, suggestions, and insights. This needs to be about the other person – not about you.
- Stay in the Other Person’s World – it’s very tempting to listen for a few minutes and then start talking all about your interests and experiences. Make sure to listen rather than plan your response.
- Trust your intuition – When you listen and are present for the other person, you can begin to sense when the timing is right for the next step in building the relationship. This is how you build trust and allow the other person to lower their resistance to connection – building real relationships.
- Invite them into your world – you may now share your thoughts and experiences as it relates to the other person (not for yourself), based on the conversation and relationship that has developed. This may be an opportunity to offer encouraging thoughts on your staff member’s project or suggest a beneficial connection for a client’s new marketing promotion. When you have finished sharing this feedback, be sure to step back into their world.
Building strong relationships is the cornerstone of creating a successful business. Utilizing the principles of intrinsic validation ensures that you are building sustainable relationships that build trust and create value for everyone involved.
Kim Ellet is a certified professional coach and owner of The Growth Coach of Metro Atlanta. She finds joy in helping successful leaders committed to continuous improvement, be more of who they are, dream bigger dreams, and accomplish more than they realized was possible. www.TheGrowthCoachATL.com