How to build your network with kindness

By Charlotte Collins
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The Brief
Since it was first coined, the phrase ‘business as usual’ has denoted a ruthless upward climb, without regard for, and often over, others, to where some mythical level of success awaits. It’s time that definition changed, because, as it turns out, other people—and our relationships with them—are critical to our success. And to build those relationships, we have to look outside our own needs.

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We’ve discussed before how selflessness far exceeds selfishness in terms of building your network of relationships. An interesting piece on SwitchandShift.com further examines the dividends paid when you focus your energy on what you can do for connections, and not the other way around. 

First, argues the author, doing for others—whether that means giving advice, a recommendation or some other favor—creates an ecosystem based on reciprocation. That seems pretty simple. When you give of your time and energy, chances are others will pay you back for it in some capacity down the line.

But more than that, giving leaves you with the self-esteem that comes from being altruistic:

“Doing something for others can be a great boost to self-esteem. It proves to us that we are not just selfish creatures, or worker ants caught up in the daily grind. It proves that we are capable of kindness, capable of goodness, capable of generosity.”

“Doing something for others can be a great boost to self-esteem. It proves that we are capable of kindness…”

The same idea is critical to helping your corporate brand grow stronger. Building such an environment increases your internal relationship capital. Stronger internal relationships with employees will help empower them to go the extra mile for customers, which in turn will create for you a cadre of brand ambassadors. And that’s without a single dollar spent in marketing:

“Employees given the resources and opportunity to fix niggling problems or to help out struggling customers will feel better about themselves and about the company they work for. That’s as close to self-esteem as a corporation gets.”

The bottom line is that those who only think of their bottom line (personal success or achievement) are actually doing a disservice not only to themselves, but to their brand as well. 

Charlotte Collins is a New-York-City-based freelance writer. This is her first post for this blog.

RelSci is a technology solutions company that helps create competitive advantage for organizations through a crucial yet vastly underutilized asset: relationship capital with influential decision makers. 

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