In a study conducted about human relationships by Leo Buscaglia, researchers surveyed participants about the qualities of primary relationships which were most enhancing to continued growth. The three qualities that seemed to contribute most to growing relationships were Communication, Affection, and Compassion/Forgiveness.
Let’s see how to apply these relationship-growing attributes to our interactions with customers and co-workers.
Communication was defined as “the desire to be open, to share, to relate, and actively speak and listen to one another.”
Consider your co-workers and customers. To grow your relationships with them, be open, go to them sharing information of interest and use to them. Share your perspective and your thoughts. Likewise, ask for their thoughts, and listen to their responses.
Affection was seen as the “trait of caring, understanding, respect, physical and psychological closeness, nurturing, and kindness.”
Now here we’re not saying to be affectionate with your customers and co-workers, because that can get you in all sorts of legal troubles! So let’s focus on the definition of Affection. Show care for the other person, be respectful of them, be understanding of their needs, and show them kindness.
Compassion was defined as “the ability to have empathy, to forgive, to be supportive and selfless.”
I’ve often said that empathy is the greatest quality somebody can have in customer service. It’s hard to really serve someone if you don’t care enough to try to understand what’s unique about them and their situation. That’s empathy.
But forgiveness is something newer – a word I don’t discuss often. It suggests that sometimes the customers don’t treat us well, the co-worker doesn’t do what they need to do, others are throwing roadblocks in front of us. This definition of compassion suggests that we need to forgive them and move forward. We need to be supportive of others and lose any selfish tendencies that we might bring into situations.
If you want to grow relationships, focus on building these qualities of relationships into your everyday interactions with co-workers and customers.
Focus on Communication, Affection, and Compassion/Forgiveness.