Developing client and colleague relationships in business can be challenging, just as challenging as building relationships in our personal lives.
A recent post by Joe De Sena got me thinking, and I believe it to be true: “… better client relationships are forged when you do hard sh$t together. Dinners are easy (and easily replaceable). Anyone can do them.” In 2020 I believe that our societal shift towards valuing and participating in challenging experiences and away from material things and the ordinary will continue to accelerate, and building relationships with others by sharing in challenging physical and mental experiences will be meaningful and sought after.
Having participated and guided others in endurance and obstacle races since 2013, I can attest that completing hard stuff with others can deepen your appreciation of others and can be transformational. Having lunch can be a great way to spend time together, and attending a sporting event can be fun. But how about completing 20 obstacles over a 5K as a team, helping and encouraging each other along the way – now THAT is going to deepen relationships.
It used to be easy to get people to break away for a game or golf outing. Not so these days. Your clients and your colleagues are strapped for time, just like you. It is more difficult now than ever for us to break away from the grind so when we do, it has to be meaningful and more stimulating than years past. At the same time and likely as a result, there are trends going on right now that are getting us more focused on our health and how to be more resilient at home and at work. Maybe you are feeling the same? Here are some ideas to share experiences with colleagues and clients that will deepen your understanding (and hopefully relationships) with them:
1) Start a fitness routine with your colleagues and clients. This doesn’t have to be crazy. Something like a 15 minute walk over lunch (regardless of the weather) or group burpees for a morning/afternoon break will do wonders
3) Grab some clients and colleagues and join a group fitness class at your corporate or local gym, or create a virtual challenge
Whatever you choose, make sure it is challenging to yourself and others and have fun!