Today on the podcast, we have David Nour, a trusted adviser to global clients, corporate leaders, and rising entrepreneurs and the author of the recent book, Curve Benders. David is an expert in Relationship Economics: how to build enduring relationships that last a lifetime. Inside this episode, David shares how deepening relationships is the way to succeed in today’s distributed workplace.
David proposes three relationship-centered goals for leadership development in a hybrid work environment that allow leaders to both deepen their relationships and stretch the true potential of their teams no matter where they are.
Relationships: Your Company’s Biggest Undervalued Asset
Companies rarely tap into their biggest undervalued asset: relationships. Strategic relationship planning is the most important part of a business strategy, yet is often overlooked.
The question for leaders today is, how do you build that relationship-centric team, especially now where many teams are not getting together physically?
Goal #1 Relationships Before Business
Early in David’s career, he thought about how he could combine the art and science of relationships to teach people how to identify, build, nurture, and sustain valued relationships beyond the inauthentic “networking” lessons. David wants to teach the following practices.
Unlike typical - and often ineffective networking approaches--David talks about the value of relationship deposits, where you cannot ask for a favor until you've earned the right to do so.
With his experience living in several cultures, David was able to see the vastly different ideologies within relationship economics in different countries compared to America. In other countries like Iran, Asia, and Latin America, relationships are built first before two people conduct business.
Unfortunately, we as Americans are so focused on the business first, that we typically don’t focus on relationships until after there is a good business fit. Once the business part works, we then begin forming relationships.
But when it comes to having a successful business, leaders must remember that people will prioritize who they will invest in based on their relationship with you. Their relationship with you is based on four considerations: know, like, trust and respect. Relationships must be first, you must get other people to know, like, trust and respect you before you engage in business. Trying to bypass these four factors rarely works. To be an effective leader for your hybrid teams and for your customer, it is so important to build relationships first before doing business.
Goal #2 Build Relationship Centric Teams
Relationship centric teams have three characteristics:
1. A defined set of personal characteristics
Relationship-centric teams need a clearly defined set of characteristics that they know are required for that team to succeed. The team then needs to be clear on further developing these characteristics. Many teams look for characteristics such as grit, personal accountability, responsibility, and proactiveness.
Trust is easy to talk about, but incredibly difficult to build, nurture, and sustain. Trust takes years to develop, and an instant to destroy it. When it is destroyed, it’s often because one is Pennywise and pound foolish. Relationship-centric teams are skilled in developing trust and having conversations around when trust is broken.