Why being good at friendship matters for professionals

This post is part of our Monthly-ish Tips series.

A salient comment from a VP-level participant in one of our recent programs got me thinking about a tip I wrote nearly seven years ago, so I’m reprising it now. The comment basically drew a clear connection between establishing trust with a business colleague and building trust with a friend. It stuck a chord with me because I’ve come to believe that friendship skills play a critical role in business, and particularly in sales.

The case for calling a possible client you’ve never met on a Sunday

This post is part of our Monthly-ish Tips series.

I did something unconventional a couple of weeks ago: I called Dave, who I’ll characterize as “possible client” for simplicity, in the middle of the day on a Sunday. We’ve never met and haven’t exchanged more than a couple of emails in the last couple of years. Dave was so struck by my reach-out that he dared me to write about it*. So here I am.

A dramatically different resolution to improve your relationships in the new year

This post is part of our Monthly-ish Tips series.

We’re two weeks into a new year, which means that any resolutions resolutely declared are within days of faltering—at least according to psychologists who say we typically do well for the first two weeks and then backslide by February. I’ve suggested before that buddying up can be a helpful antidote. This year I’m suggesting we all try something a little different—either in addition to, or maybe just plain instead of, finding a partner to support us with our efforts. Brace yourself for a dramatic and woo-woo sounding strategy.


Reprise: 10 easy ways to make time for BD

This post is part of our Monthly-ish Tips series.

It’s been nearly six years since I wrote about easy ways to make time for business development (BD). I reprised my Top 10 list with a workshop group the other day and it occurred to me I should do the same here. While I’m at it, I’m merging what was two lists of five into one for easy access, and adding some prioritization that creates a dramatic lead-in to my favorite (#1).

Here are my top 10 tips for making time for BD:

Reprise: How to be more charismatic/compelling/interesting/fascinating

This post is part of our Monthly-ish Tips series.

I assigned the listening chapter from The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook to a group I’m working with the other day (Chapter 6), and a participant took note of one of my favorite stories in it. Which reminded me of a tip I wrote 2+ years ago on an unexpected way to be found at least a little more charismatic/ compelling/interesting/fascinating. I’m dusting it off today because introverts and extroverts alike can benefit from creating an immediate and meaningful connection in a way that’s authentic, palatable and easy.

Reprise: When NOT to speak up/tell the truth

This post is part of our Monthly-ish Tips series.

Most of us probably agree both in theory and in practice with the principle of transparency—being honest, open, candid. It is easy to assert that “Honesty is the best policy,” but dig a little deeper and it is not so clear. I last wrote a Weekly-ish Tip about how to discern whether to raise a touchy topic a little over five years ago. A recent conversation with a workshop group has me thinking it’s time to reprise it.

A modern take on a traditional relationship-building custom

This post is part of our Monthly-ish Tips series.

I’m guessing you’re like I am in that you don’t end each day wistfully thinking, “If only I had received more email.” Just last week, though, I found one of the loveliest messages in my inbox I’ve ever gotten—which is saying something because I actually get some really, really nice ones on a pretty regular basis. Last week’s dispatch was a brilliant blend of traditional and modern communication that strikes me as a simple and distinctive addition to all of our relationship-building toolkits.

When NOT to ask a question

This post is part of our Monthly-ish Tips series.

Many of you know my Mom passed away a couple of months ago (I wrote about three trust lessons as a tribute), and some of you know she was actively dying over a two-week period. I learned an important lesson about asking questions during those two weeks. The lesson is applicable to a lot of different circumstances and relationships, including the comparatively more mundane everyday business interactions—particularly between consultant/advisor and client.