As most people will tell you, respect and communication play essential roles in maintaining long-term relationships with your family and friends. Respect is defined as due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others. Communication is defined as the act of transferring information from one place, person, or group to another. While these are both pretty simple concepts on paper, everyone can attest to the fact that they’ve lost at least one relationship in life that could have been saved by respect and/or communication. No one wants to continually feel like or be treated as if they are less than by anyone, especially those that they choose to be around.
We all see the importance of these two principles when it comes to personal relationships; however, we’ve been fooled into believing that they don’t hold the same weight in business relationships. That is simply false. A business relationship is just like any other, there must be respect and communication on all levels. This applies to relationships with your own team, your clients, and the public. Below we’ll take a look specifically at how these principles are important to the relationship with your internal team and with clients/vendors.
With your Team:
- Respect: In a team setting, the success of a project is rarely dependent on a single person. Team members rely on each other to complete specific tasks that contribute to the project’s completion/success. It is disrespectful to other members of the team for any member to procrastinate to the point where someone else has to step in and complete it in order to keep the project’s timeline.
- Communication: Without communication, most projects end up costing the team much more time and effort than needed. Clear goals should be set and understood within the team from the onset of the project so that everyone knows what they are responsible for and their respective due dates. Another important aspect of communication here is to make sure that the team is all on one accord prior to any client meeting. Confusion or bickering between team members is very detrimental during client meetings. It can cause the client to see the team as disorganized and will also leave some members feeling disrespected.
- Respect: With clients/vendors, it is essential that respect is understood and practiced in both directions. Your team should not disrespect the client/vendor and the client/vendor should not be disrespectful to any member of your team. This applies to respect in the forms of verbal and written communication, as well as, respect for each other’s time and areas of expertise. Frustrations may happen, but that is not a reason to treat anyone with a lack of respect. There is a reason that each team and each specific person is a part of the project and to second guess or overstep each of their decisions is disparaging both to them and the success of the project.
- Communication: Communication in these instances starts at the very beginning of the relationship. Both parties should take the time to clearly define goals, expectations, deliverables, and the full scope of work. Once agreed upon, this should streamline the project and eliminate any confusion that either party may have during the life cycle of the project
We can clearly see the value and weight that both respect and communication hold in the business sphere. Similar to how we treat their absence in personal relationships, we shouldn’t continue a business relationship that lacks them either. A principle that all successful business owners know is that all business isn’t good business. Even if you are in the early stages of your business, continuing a partnership without respect and communication is disrespectful to both the skills, time, and talents of you and your team. Are there any business partnerships or relationships with your team members that you need to reevaluate and improve or possibly end?