As an industry we shape the built environment in many ways. We enhance society by creating buildings and structures that make life better.

When you think about it, our industry is responsible for one of the Human Race’s basic necessities, shelter.

I don’t know how you feel, but I feel an immense sense of pride to work in our industry. To be totally candid, I love my work and I especially enjoy helping people and businesses get better, making more profits, while effectively managing conflict and risks.

One thing I can never understand though, is for an industry that builds the very structures that we humans so heavily rely upon, it appears to be largely unable to build meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships, without having to resort to dispute.

It is typically smiles at the beginning of a relationship and as you stare into your new best friends / lovers eyes, expectations are not clarified in the clamour to get together and ahem, “do the business“. The project starts and lo and behold the honeymoon period is short lived, as the relationship, rather sadly, heads for divorce, or in our industries case – alternative dispute resolution or litigation.

So much for happy ever after, you may very well need to fork out a heap of cash to resolve the break up and go back to the drawing board. If you do manage to lift your chin up, you might just be in time to see yourself lose custody of your profit……

Ah well, plenty more fish in the sea, as the saying goes, for all those singletons out there……

But you know what? There is another way….

My number one value is Trust. Why? Because without it life just wouldn’t be worth living.

Trust in oneself leads to trust in others.

Why do balanced Relationships with Trust at their heart matter so much?

Balanced Relationships and Trust matter because they allow parties to collaborate towards common goals for shared benefits.

Strong relationships lead to great partnerships. In our industry many complimentary businesses must collaborate to ensure they can deliver the many elements of a building.

Collaboration means to work with someone, how can this be possible without a good relationship built on Trust? Working with someone means exactly that, being honest, open, respectful. The counterfeit of which is in essence working against them, having an alternate agenda, not being honest, not being open and not being respectful…

I often refer to people as the bricks in our industry and Trust is the mortar that holds them together.

So how do you build successful, long-term relationships and avoid the “divorce court”?

Well, that all depends on how you behave towards your partner.

For example, being open and honest, being respectful, righting wrongs, having loyalty, keeping commitments, admitting mistakes quickly and learning from them…and so on.

Your positive behaviour and an ability to extend and build Trust will lead you into great balanced relationships. By understanding your behaviour you will begin to spot the opposite or counterfeit behaviours and so be in a position to avoid them or deal with them effectively.

By consistently behaving in this way you will very quickly find that you have a balanced, strong and sustainable working relationship. If it feels wrong at the start, guess what, it will never be right. Learn to build trust and you will have a successful base to build a profitable business and happy life.

I believe that life and business is not about what you take, its all about what you give. I am not saying do everything for free but when you need to make a choice in life or business, it will impact a relationship either with you or somebody close to you. Think about what I am saying, instead of thinking about what you can get, think about what the other party would like, then give it to them.

I assure you that you will gain enormous satisfaction from it and the rewards will come in more ways than you would have gained had you taken.

The economics of collaboration speak for themselves.

If you Trust somebody and this is mutual you will work faster and your costs will go down, as there will be less likelihood of a dispute souring things. Disputes between parties that demonstrate trusting behaviours are usually always settled quickly and at minimal cost, in my experience.

Additionally the relationship is usually enhanced due to the fact that the parties will share openly the who, what, when, where and why and thereby learn from it.

We live in a world of social networking with more ways than ever to communicate and therefore collaborate more effectively. As an industry we need to learn to Trust ourselves and others, we need to learn to work together for mutual reward, we need to learn to give not take, but most importantly we must learn and get better as we do so.

I would like to thank Stephen M R Covey for inspiring me with his book The Speed of Trust. I highly recommend this book and have read it myself many times. One thing is for sure, I am improving as I progress, get on board and be the change you want to see.

Be different. Be successful.

I thank you for taking the time to read this article and I hope you found it useful. Please feel free to connect with me, like, comment or share this article.

Wishing you every success in your endeavours.

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