Building Relationships in 2010

I crowdsourced my 2010 action list and received a great reply from colleagues. The ideas included “quick actions” which I shared in my first post, tips for listening, several thoughts on integrating social media (which will come in future posts) and this checklist for building relationships from David Nour, author, speaker and consultant. 

David was on my list to reach out to because of his philosophy that focuses on relationships as currency. He describes this in his book, Relationship Economics, but really lives it day-to-day as I experienced first-hand when I reached out to him with my simple question.

I first met David at ASAE & The Center’s 2009 annual meeting where he gave two presentations. He described his early introduction to  the concept of relationship as currency when as a child he accompanied his father on their weekly errands at the bazaars of Iran. His dad got things done through relationships or what David terms “favor economy”.  Later, he said, a business trip to China reminded him that “the rest of the world builds relationships first, before they do business.”

I was curious then to know what David would suggest as important to add to my 2010 list. He offered his top 10 in 2010 which by no surprise focuses on building relationships:

  1. Version one is better than version none!  Get on and try it before you claim “it doesn’t work”
  2. Worst thing you can do on social networks is to sell – it inevitably turns people off
  3. The best thing you can do on social networks is to listen – louder!  Engage, influence, learn from those who matter.
  4. If you don’t want it found, do not put it online!
  5. Use discretion before you blog, tweet, or friend others.
  6. Are you building fans or followers – the former is Relationship Economics at work!
  7. Get your off- and on-line presence, in-line!  Make sure you’re consistent and congruent with the brand called you!
  8. When it comes to social networking, consistency is a lot more valuable than creativity.
  9. If you think of social networking as yet another “have to” you’ll never get it!  Leverage social networking to help you get things done!
  10. Add value with every interaction – would you want to read your tweets?

It’s a list that has simple ideas, provoking thoughts and admonishments. One item jumped out at me: #10. In the simple world of social media, this helps us rein in our interactions. But that’s not why this jumped out at me. Every day we have thousands of interactions and how many of them add no value or more likely detract value … the sigh when I pick up the phone to answer a member’s call … the reply to my teenager without looking up to acknowledge him … the inching closer to the car in front to block the merging vehicle.

Hmmm – David, thank you for this simple, yet challenging list!

Thoughts, reactions to David’s list? Or send me your own suggestions for 2010.