I’ve commented in this blog and in other forums, about how much I continue to learn and to be reminded of business relationship success, from being around my kids! My daughter plays for a competitive soccer team and with the girls she practices and plays with, there is a visible lack of intensity in their play. So I’ve found her a speed and agility coach to work with and last week, he asked if we wanted to join a team of same aged boys he was training. I didn’t tell her and when we arrived, you could see her trepidation.

But she jumped right into the drills and more than carried her weight throughout the practice. You could tell that she didn’t understand every drill, but she watched, listened, and did her best. I asked her afterwards how she felt, and she LOVED it! You see, what she didn’t know in advance is that she practiced with the U-11 Boy’s State Champs!

Similarly in how this young team of talented boys were able to push my daughter to think faster, move with greater agility, and elevate her execution, performance and results when she had to on that field, so can stronger business relationship builder help elevate the performance of the rest of us. The manner in which they engage and influence others often without authority, how they productively manage the dialog, create relationship impact moments with genuine empathy, lower their self interest, collaborate to make the outcome stronger, bring a unique point of view with conviction, are all both an art and a science that we can learn from.

The question is: are you savvy enough to seek and surround yourself with those who are smarter, sharper, faster, stronger, and dramatically more impactful in the relationships they identify, nurture, and develop? Particularly when it comes to business relationships, we all need role models. Mentors, coaches, and those who have learned from past mistakes, can teach us how to avoid similar pitfalls. You’re never too old or young to find mentors or become one.

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