"Leadership is about empathy. It is about having the ability to relate to and connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their lives” Oprah Winfrey
"Unity is strength where there is team work and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved" Mattie J.T. Stepaneck
Many people will agree, it is fun to collaborate with those who are easy to get along with. What about collaborating with difficult people? Your ability to get along with difficult people is essential for your success in business. You cannot avoid it. You are bound to come across clients, co-workers or employees who are challenging. This could include people who do one or all of the following:
Underestimate your intellectual ability
Insult you or take advantage of your skills
Spread false information about you and your company
Refuse to pay for services you provide
Steal your intellectual property
Test your character; The list goes on!
How you chose to respond to these types of people will either help or hurt your business. It will either strengthen or weaken your relationship with them. You should not allow difficult people prevent you from doing your best. Find ways to work with difficult people with the foal of building a team based on their skills they bring to the table. In order to expand your business or advance in a company that you work for, you will need the skills of those who are easy to get along with and those who are difficult people. Let wisdom be your guide and take the high road. This is a great way to show your level of maturity.
Surround yourself with people who respect you and value your business. There will be those who try to destroy your business but it will be very difficult if you put the right safe guards in place. Be selective with you who put on your core team. Select loyal people who truly have you and your company’s best interest at heart. Select people who have a strong track record of helping other entrepreneurs grow their business or advance in their career.
Seek help from creditable entrepreneurs and assess who is on your team. Make referrals to entrepreneurs who produce high quality work and are reliable. A bad referral will reflect badly on your business and make you appear untrustworthy.
Give more than you take by sharing ideas and resources with others. Be mindful of those who only take and give nothing in return. Focus on what you can bring to the table and show how you can add value to others. Avoid taking anything personal and hold no heart feelings. Expect mistakes to happen but be quick to let it go and move on.
Build relationships by connecting people the right people together is a key part of being a team builder. Team builders are great at connecting the dots. They are knowledgeable in specific subjects and enjoy sharing knowledge with others. The ability to understand how different dots connect or work together, requires bringing the right people with the right knowledge or skill set to the table.
Collaboration is an essential component of team building. For example, when I planned a health conference for one of my clients, my focus was to bring together a wide spectrum of professionals, such as, doctors, nutritionists, skin care specialist and other health groups. Our common goal was to raise awareness about the factors that contribute to breast cancer and explore ways to minimize the risks.
Some people avoid collaborating with others because they fear their ideas will be duplicated or stolen. Fear of collaboration will block you from growing as an entrepreneur or professional. Each person has their own DNA, perspectives and ideas that can add value to what you do. Once you improve your collaboration skills you will become a stronger team builder.
Many entrepreneurs work in silos with no support systems in place. This can be frustrating and lonely. There is no need to try to do to all alone. This will make it hard for you to become sustainable and profitable. Connect to support groups for entrepreneurs like Hub Inc or Toronto Business Enterprise.
When you work with others and build strong alliances, you will expand your client base, marketability, and strengthen your credibility.
Remember there is no "I" in TEAM As the saying goes “Together Everyone Achieves More.” If you desire to leave your mark on this world, master the art of effective team building.
By Stacey Berry, Founder of Bstellar Consulting Group