How to develop your relationships
You don’t have a relationship because people know you. You have a relationship when people trust you
The trust equation in the blue figure contains four qualities. These qualities determine whether people trust in you. Trust enables you to build a close relationship to them. The right relations are absolutely crucial for your success as a project manager as they are you power base.
Credibility is based on your knowledge regarding the project task. You must have a professional standpoint. Did you put together a credible team to handle the task? Your credibility will be weakened if the stakeholders can see that your team is weak. What do you stand for? What are your values? Do you lead according to these standards and values? Do you announce honestly if you’re in doubt or simply don’t know the answer?
Reliability. How do you fulfil your promises? Do you deliver on time? This is also very much about annonuncing changes instead of letting them pop up as a surprise. You should be ahead at all times and communicate adjustments coming up in the project. Reliability can also be affected by experiences from previous projects.
Intimacy. It’s all about empathy and an honest interest in other people. This means that you have a personal relation which induces people to share their own personal worries. It describes your ability and readiness to be open and share your doubts and vulnerability.
Less focus on your own needs. The last element describes how selfish you act. How much do your own interests come first compared with the stakeholder’s or the project’s interests? It’s all about how much your own interests are allowed to control or disturb your work.
Relations have to be built before you need them. It is absolutely crucial to make deposits into the goodwill account before you can withdraw backing and support.
“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” C.G. Jung