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Establishing genuine relationships

In today global business, leaders need trust and goodwill to get things done. And the higher the position, the more this statement is true. Business always boils down to relationships and trust. Even when you buy a product, you want to do the transaction with a trustful partner, to avoid a mistake or delay that could be costly.

Global leaders need to establish personal relationships with people from all backgrounds and culture inside their organization, and in the community. There are three distinct abilities required to establish genuine personal connections: a sincere interest in others, a great ability to listen, and a strong capacity for empathy.

A sincere interest in others
Effective global leaders like all kind of people. They care about them and want to help them improve, grow personally and professionally to succeed. Employees and customers can definitely feel when somebody is sincerely interested in them. Value differences, as in the difference lay the strength. Make sure to use any occasion to bond with employees and customers. What is important to them must be important to you.

A great ability to listen
Being interested in people is not the same as genuinely listening to them. When you give all your attention to somebody, the person feels energized and cared for. A leader must seek first to understand before being understood. Most people listen with the intent to reply, not to understand. They listen selectively. They pretend to listen, but filter everything through their life experiences, their frame of reference. Leaders must also excel at picking up verbal and non-verbal communications. They must be totally aware and concentrated on the person to fully grasp their emotions, feelings, interests and aspirations.

Empathy based relationships
Understanding people requires empathy. Empathy is putting yourself in someone else shoes. Leaders must relate personally to the lives of their employees and customers. It means understanding context and culture. It does not mean that you agree, it means that you understand them. It is like saying to them, I value you, I value your world and your feelings. This is extremely motivating. Empathize deeply, truly, sincerely, consistently. People will stop fighting, drop their defenses and contribute more than ever.

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