Welcome back! In the first article from this series we talked about why and how to become a skilled communicator. Today we’ll take it a bit further and talk about the skill of …

Relationship Building

The people you spend most time with represent a staggering 85% of your level of success of failure. Spend most of your time with low-income earners and you’ll probably earn the same. Start making new friends in higher places and I can almost guarantee that you’ll see a noticeable increase number of opportunities you are provided with.

Want to read more? Join (or create) a book club. Get one or more accountability buddies that you talk to on a weekly basis and hold you accountable for reading X number of chapters or pages per week.

For whatever you wish to do or become better at, find either a person or even an entire community that is just as passionate about that specific topic as you are. They can, and probably will, help you to reach your goals faster. To maximize your chances, be sure to focus on improving in the following three areas:

 

Networking

The more people you know, the better! Right? Well, I wouldn’t be so sure of that. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather have 100 friends that support me on my journey, than 1,000 friends that pull me back in one way or another.

I’m against making friends just for the sake of making friends. That does not mean that you shouldn’t be nice and helpful to everyone you meet, even if they’re a complete stranger. What it does mean is that your goal should be to find like-minded people that have the values, beliefs and results that you aspire towards, or that are one a similar journey.

For example, in Highschool a significant part of my network were gamers, like me. Why? Because it was one of the things I was most passionate about! In real life I would hang out with friends and, at least 50% of the time, we would talk about games, and online I would spend most of my time playing games with other passionate gamers. (Sometimes too passionate…)

Today, about 80% of my social interactions are with other entrepreneurs or with professionals that have a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Robin Sharma rightfully calls these people: Leaders without a title – another must-read book.

At social events such as dinners, seminars, galas, etc. I’ve noticed that it’s much better to make a few strong connections than to desperately make sure that your give out all of you brand new business cards.

At such events, listen at least twice as much as you talk. Try to learn as much as you can about the other people that are there. Most people love to talk about themselves and/or their passions, but don’t do it just because you know you should. Participate actively and be mindful about the other person’s thoughts and emotions.

This will not only make you grow in the eyes of others, but will also widen your perspective and open your mind to new ideas.

 

Manners

I was born a poor boy in a small town called Beius, but I spent most of my early childhood on the fields of an even smaller town called Finis – which back then had about five thousand inhabitants. You can imagine that cows, chickens and townsfolk aren’t the best choice of mentors if your goal is to get some manners.

I was told that I’m a bit reckless many times, but I always took it as a compliment. My belief was that: “Why would I ever want to be normal?! Normal people are boring!”

I still think that normal people are boring and stay away from them as much as possible, but now I see that my direct and brutally honest way of being sometimes places others in discomfort. For example, they know that certain foods and drinks are bad for them, or that what they’re doing isn’t bringing them closer to their goals, but they simply don’t want to be reminded.

Also, different people have different beliefs, values and rules. I was called uneducated many times, but I never heard that said into my face. For some reason, people that call others uneducated think it’s OK to talk badly about them behind their back. Something that my modest mother taught me is super rude and, in many cases, seen just as badly as a direct insult to the person in cause.

Most people are hypocrites. Get used to it. They just love to be fake and pretend all their lives. They say one thing and then do the opposite, many times without even realizing it. Until some “uneducated” person like myself comes along and gives them the real numbers.

Though before I felt pride of putting such wannabe’s back in their place, I now realize that there is *allways* a better, more tactful way of communicating. I now pride myself not with ruthlessly crunching down the facts, but rather with overcoming such urges and finding polite ways of expressing myself.

If someone wants to call me uneducated, behind my back of course, it’s their problem. My (and probably your) best bet is to (1) notice those people for who they are and (2) become a master of society’s rules so that I avoid as much conflict as possible.

 

Conflict Management

No matter how hard you try, there will always be people around you that generate conflicts. They say that they don’t like conflicts or drama, but we all know that that’s just another big lie. If I don’t like white chocolate, I simply don’t eat it. If you say that you don’t like conflicts, than don’t start them in the first place.

If you cannot handle useless drama (Oh sorry, I forgot: All drama is useless. What was I thinking?…), then you will find it incredibly difficult to tolerate people with a low self esteem that cannot get either attention or their opinion across in any other way.

I personally found that it is best to avoid “drama kings/queens” as much as possible. Sadly, I’m sometimes put into situations in which “it’s the right thing to do” to keep such friendships, but I do my best to spend 90% of my time with other drama-hating people.

Even so, it’s almost inevitable that either you or someone you know will sooner-or-later be part of a dramatic situation. For those cases, I recommend that you study the topic of conflict management so that whatever happens, you know what to do.

THE book on everything about relationships: How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. (Yes, I cannot recommend this book enough! Please read it!)

Networking: Join and actively participate in communities of your interest, both online and in real life. Of course, after you learn some…

Manners: Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck by Amy Alkon.

Conflict management: Study the six human needs and the four different personality types.

Well, that’s about it for today. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!

Creating a better tomorrow,
Robert

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