As much as business is about useful products or services or even, systems and processes, it is more about people. At the end of the day, business is all about relationships. Your ability to build and sustain relationships well is directly correlated to ultimate success.


Naturally, the most important relationships to build as a priority are client relationships. It is essential to listen to clients when they are unhappy as much as it is to appreciate praise. Not only does constructive criticism enable us to grow and learn, but it means that the client cared enough to tell you so that you can fix it, and that in itself is excellent!


The other relationship often very trying to maintain our employee relationships. True, it is much easier to maintain a positive relationship with the good performers. The challenge lies in maintaining a positive relationship with the poor performers, the latecomers, the abusers of sick leave and the selfie-obsessed. As much as it is necessary that rules are applied to all equally and therefore, those unacceptable behaviours are dealt with in terms thereof; it is also vital to exercise empathy. Staff retention has become extremely challenging in a world of instant gratification, and for that reason, maintaining healthy relationships is critical.


Stakeholder relationships, too many businesses see themselves as islands, and by doing so, do not collaborate when working with other stakeholders. The engagement often becomes self-centred, which is not conducive to a mutually beneficial working relationship.


The secret to all of this I have learnt is love; all you need is love.