Even in the business world, don’t you prefer for the people you deal with to treat you as a person? Then make sure to do the same. The concept of “do unto others” is the Golden Rule for a reason. Following it helps you build meaningful, rewarding relationships. And when you work well with others everyone benefits from a more compassionate business community.

Don’t Learn the Wrong Lessons

One of the keys to any major conflict is dehumanization. It’s what has driven war-time propaganda for centuries. Why? Because it’s a lot easier to kill someone when you can trick yourself into thinking that they aren’t a person just like you.

Some people might take that political example and tell you to do the same thing. To never focus on the human on the other side of the negotiating table so you can conquer the competition. So you achieve your business goals no matter the cost.

In the long run, executing that strategy will leave you with many enemies and no friends. Very few businesses are strong enough to go it alone and come out the winner of every conflict.

Yes, some may make fortunes on the backs of hostile takeovers, but more end up caving to takeovers themselves. Because they don’t have the support network they need to sustain a healthy business.

Build Relationships on a Human Level

Relationships are the real key to a successful and, most importantly, stable business or career. There’s a reason why networking events are so common and so well attended. It’s the same reason why people go to conferences or even hit the golf course.

Sure, business relationships can get complicated. And sometimes you do need to disadvantage someone else to get ahead. But like any relationship, it’s better to build on trust, respect and reciprocation. No one likes being used and most people will remember, and repay, a favor.

So when working with other people, whether they’re business partners or even employees, remember that they’re people. Just as you have needs, struggles and ambitions, so does everyone you work with. And if you respect theirs, they’ll value yours so much more.

Acknowledging the humanity of those you deal with is a huge step towards creating a more compassionate business that will help you build long-term mutually beneficial partnerships. And more than that, you’ll create relationships that are stronger than a single business agreement.

It’s Still True Even When People Screw You Over

Things won’t always go your way, and you can’t burn bridges every time they don’t. At some point, you’ll run out of chances. So remind yourself that the people you work with are people. Have some perspective. Who knows, even a relationship with a bad start can turn into a profitable partnership!

Get off your duff!


image credit: Bigstock/nielshariot

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