Meaningful Relationships are a Competitive Advantage

A different perspective on the phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”.

This phrase used to be about social classes, rich and poor, nowadays it is still about who you know rather than what you know. The difference is that who you know is based on your networking and relationship building. It’s about the opportunity you create and develop.

Furthermore, you can’t know everything, “it’s what you know” implies power and hold over others. That’s not the way to work. You need others; you won’t realise your full potential unless you engage with others and utilise them to reach the bigger goal.

Picture by Joe Pemberton
Picture by Joe Pemberton

People base decisions on data but make them on emotion; check out this article or this one for background.  Just think about that for a moment as knowing this is a game changer in the workplace.  If you have a strong connection with a decision maker in your field, your relationship with them can directly impact their emotional decision making (hopefully to your advantage!)

And don’t think this only works for teams. Think about the lone artist, the individual. Who is their muse, their support network, their encouragement and reminder of their goals?  They don’t succeed in isolation.

Everyone needs someone else, figure out who you need to know and get to know them.  This could be at work, local family & friends or the public through the multiple avenues of social media.

A word of caution though, these connections need to matter to have value.  In the same way you would unlikely ask someone you just met at a party for them to give up their time to help you with something, don’t connect with people on social media with the sole purpose of immediately asking them to do something for you.

Give generously first; Read Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann to show you how and why.  Show how important you can be to them so that when you need something, there is no barrier to them helping you in any way they can.

Your relationships are important. Invest in them in the same way you invest in yourself.

(Photo by Joe Pemberton via flickr used under a creative Commons Licence)

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