5 Ways for Building Strong Relationships as a Project Manager
As a project manager, building a strong network of relationships is essential for success. Strong relationships with people inside and outside your field provide you with valuable resources and opportunities.
Connections are a powerful resource in the world of business. You can’t navigate the project management world alone, and the stronger your network of relationships, the easier it will be to achieve your goals. Every interaction with a new person has the potential to have a lasting impact on both of you. Therefore, it’s important to keep an open mind and be curious about the other person to determine how to assist each other.
Generosity is another key aspect of building relationships. Be generous with your time, resources, and knowledge when you can help someone. It creates a positive impact and fosters a culture of collaboration.
The benefits of building strong relationships may not be immediately apparent, but they pay off in multiple ways in the future. Generously mentoring and giving generously can make people remember you and say positive things about you.
Even if relationship-building doesn’t come naturally to you, anyone can learn to do it better. One way to find out how you can help each other is by asking thoughtful questions. Thoughtful questions are the foundation of communication and help you to control a conversation and build connections.
When you meet someone new, remember these tips to ask excellent questions that will help you build stronger relationships.
1. Building Trust Through Expressing Care
Trust is a vital element in establishing any connection or open communication. To build trust quickly, it is essential to express care, often through engaging in small talk. Small talk is a safe and effective way to learn about each other and determine if the conversation should continue.
Effective communication requires equal sensitivity and participation from both parties. Sharing highly personal information too early on can make the other person uncomfortable and may result in a disconnection. Similarly, divulging personal information too soon may also project a sense of vulnerability not grounded in trust.
Instead, focus on finding common points of interest and sharing personal information that is not overly revealing. It is equally important to be non-judgmental and to express genuine care about the other person’s comfort. By taking these steps, you can build strong, lasting connections based on trust and mutual respect.
2. Discovering What Matters to Others
Once trust is established, deeper conversations can ensue. The most effective questions at this stage reveal what’s important to the other person and their pain points and problems. Inquire about their goals, plans, and personal life to some extent. Observe their energy, focus, and topics that elicit enthusiasm or lengthy discussions. You can better understand their priorities by attending to verbal and nonverbal cues.
By identifying what matters to them and the challenges they face, you may uncover areas where you can assist them or where they can assist you. It’s important to offer something in return while avoiding making the conversation overly focused on yourself. This might include providing information or connecting them with someone in your network.
3. Harness the Power of Curiosity
Approaching every interaction with curiosity can lead to great personal and professional benefits. By focusing on others rather than yourself, you can learn something new from every person and build connections more quickly.
This approach requires a sense of humility, but it can lead to unexpected opportunities and growth. So, embrace curiosity, ask thoughtful questions, and be open to learning from others. The more you seek to understand others, the more you will learn and grow.
4. The Importance of Continuously Asking Questions, Even When You Know the Answers
It’s surprising that the ones who believe they possess all the required information usually lack knowledge. To better understand any situation, it is crucial to continuously ask questions, even when you assume you have the answers. Doing so allows you to delve deeper into the subject and uncover hidden motivations, issues, and other factors. This process can lead to innovative solutions you might not have considered otherwise.
Identifying what drives someone gives you the unique ability to control the conversation more effectively. While questions focus the discussion on the other person, they also place you in the driver’s seat, allowing you to steer the conversation in different directions.
5. Generously Offer Information and Assistance
Asking great questions can help you understand the problems, interests, and motivations of those around you, but it’s essential to take the next step and offer help whenever possible. Look for ways to connect a new contact with other people in your network and share any useful information you have. By consistently being open, curious, and generous, you can establish a reputation as a helpful and kind individual that people will remember.
Helping others can also provide personal and professional benefits, leading to new opportunities and a more significant network. Even if you don’t have an immediate solution to someone’s problem, offering your time, resources, or expertise can go a long way. By giving information and help generously, you can build lasting relationships and contribute to a more collaborative and supportive community.