This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

At first blush, intimacy is a strange word to use in a business context. “What, I’m supposed to be intimate with my clients?”

Well, in the sense that being intimate means being comfortable, familiar, and emotionally connected…yes, you are.

Intimacy is one of the four components of the Trust Equation and it usually gets the short-shrift. For most people, it’s more natural to build trust by increasing credibility and reliability.

And yet, without intimacy, business transactions are just that–transactions–and the “safe haven” experience that is the hallmark of trusted advisorship is a pipe dream.

Intimacy gets more concrete (and palatable) when we deconstruct it. You can boost your intimacy score by being positive, personal, and bold.

Bonus: Making it Real

This week, focus on being positive. Here are two suggestions:

  1. Tell your client something you appreciate about him. Don’t just think it; say it. “Amal, before we dig into our agenda today, I just wanted to say I really appreciate how you handled the meeting yesterday. You were clear and direct while also listening to the concerns that were raised. I think it made a difference for the staff.”
  2. Celebrate successes together. Give the tendency to be a Task Master a little reprieve. Suggest a meeting, a coffee break, or lunch off-site that is specifically focused on reflecting on, and acknowledging a job well done.

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Andrea Howe

As the founder of The Get Real Project, I am the steward of our vision and our service offerings, as well as a workshop leader and keynote speaker. Above all else, I am an entrepreneur on a mission: to kick conventional business wisdom to the curb and transform how people work together as a result. I am also the co-author, with Charles H. Green, of The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook (Wiley, 2012).