How to make business relationships work - The Clubhouse London

News from in & around
The Clubhouse

How to make business relationships work

Carole Gillespie explores networks, relationships and opportunities in her new book, Flying Start

In the early years of a career or a business, becoming a known known is the way to getting noticed, supported and promoted.

Back in 2002, Donald Rumsfeld, the US Secretary for Defense, answered a question posed to him at the NATO HQ about the War on Terror. He explained his approach to taking decisions on this topic by talking about unknown unknowns, known unknowns and known knowns.

In the context of networks, relationships and opportunities, what might a potential supporter say to you?  Maybe “If you are an unknown unknown, I have no idea of your existence. If you become a known unknown, I will know you exist, but won’t know what you are capable of or whether I can trust you. If you become a known known, I may or may not have an opportunity for you today, but you’ll certainly be on my mind when things change. So, at every opportunity, talk to the people you meet, get connected and stay in touch to become a known known whenever you can. Opportunities can come from the most surprising sources.

Make it easy for me to know and remember that you exist. You never know when I will need someone like you.” So how do we do this, particularly if we are starting off  with a limited network?  Firstly, we need to understand what makes a relationship strong, lasting and productive.  The Four Relationship Pillars™ of being mutually Known, Trusted, Understood and Valued enable us to assess a relationship and consciously set about making it work for both parties. In personal relationships, to be Known and Trusted is sufficient for a great relationship. In business, we need the additional ones of Understood and Valued to give a reason and relevance for working together. In the early years of a career or a business, becoming a known known is the way to getting noticed, supported and promoted.

In later years, it is the way to do good business, more easily and more often. The question then is how do we put these double strength pillars of mutual support in place? The answer comes through the deceptively simple and natural application of the six behaviours contained in the Relationship Code. In summary, they enable us to build the Pillars through helpful visibility, consistent, fair and clear actions, constructive honesty, and clarity of shared understanding and relevance.

The Pillars and The Code are covered in the first book in the Relationship Code Series. They are brought to life in a highly practical way for those in the early years of building a career or business via a series of Q&As addressing real-life situations. It is particularly helpful for those starting with little or no network to support them, and/ or who are much more comfortable with screen interactions rather than real conversations. For those who employ, mentor or advise this group, the book  will give a logical and practical basis for support.

Flying Start is available in print and digital from all major online bookstores.


This article was originally featured in The Informer – December 2018. To read the full magazine please click here