Healthy Business Relationships: Creating an Enduring Alliance
Jan.08.2018 Business Resources
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.” -Philippians 2:3
A business is only as strong as the relationships it fosters. These relationships exist internally, among our team and owners, and externally with our customers, suppliers, and even competitors. The quality of our relationships is the mirror to our corporate soul. When relationships are strained or even adversarial, trust is diminished, and we risk losing valuable customers and employees. In today’s business climate, strong relationships are required to stay ahead of the game. As stewards of God’s business, we can’t afford to squander relationships for the sake of unnecessary political or adversarial activities. Further, all of our ministry objectives are best accomplished within the context of healthy relationships.
So, what do healthy relationships look like, and how are they maintained? The key to developing, strengthening, and enduring healthy relationships goes beyond a single initiative. It involves providing consistent value, transparency, and honest communication. Consider these steps:
Know Your Customers
If you don’t know and understand your customers, you can’t effectively communicate your offerings. Learn how your customers view your business and your competition, and you’ll stand a much better chance of staying ahead. After learning more about what your customers want, make strategic changes to improve your relationships with them.
Beyond providing a product or service, it is your responsibility as the CEO or business owner to be open and honest in all of your dealings. Deadlines, surprises, challenges, and problems are all part of operating a business. Being completely transparent with your customers on tough issues will preserve your reputation as a company of integrity. This integrity enables you to cultivate the long-term relationships your business relies on.
Be an Attentive Listener
Become an active listener — one who comprehends important details and uses them to connect with people and make informed decisions. It is easy to focus on what you’re communicating rather than what is being communicated to you. Learning to listen well can lead to greater productivity, more innovative work, and healthier relationships. Attentive listening also shows that you lead with intention.
Resolve Conflicts Early
Challenging situations are an inevitable part of running a business. When a conflict arises, do not let it continue to boil. Take prompt action to substantiate the facts, pursue the truth, and resolve the issue in a God-honoring way. As your business grows and evolves, the ability to navigate conflict will directly impact your success.
Deliver on Realistic Expectations
Part of maintaining healthy business relationships is to provide realistic expectations on what it is you’re offering. Never over-promise and under-deliver. If the deadlines are tight and the expectations are out of reach, be open and honest. Apologize if you can’t deliver on time and ensure your team learns from the situation.
Are You on the Right Course?
God’s Word offers infinite wisdom on turning failing relationships around and strengthening them into solid partnerships. Having trusted advisors who encourage you to pursue healthy relationships through Biblical wisdom can make all the difference. The C12 Group provides a forum for Christian business leaders and CEOs support each other while exploring best business practices for effectively running a company.