Reflections:

As ever the principle this week is simple, highly effective relationships are built on trust.  Where trust is high, relationships prosper and things get done.  Long-term highly effective relationships are crucial to making progress in your conservation roles, but also in every aspect of your life.

So just four thoughts on building highly effective relationships in any part of your life.

Firstly, relationships have to be worked at if they are to prosper.  There’s no quick fix here, building great relationships takes time, effort and energy, they require hard work like so much else in life.  In the podcast I liken this focus on relationships as being like a real bank account.  You will have relationships which are high in credit, some which have slipped to nil balance and some which have slipped into overdraft.

Plot your relationships, inside and outside work, on this continuum.  Which ones have a high credit?  Celebrate that but do not be complacent.  We need to continue to invest in them if they are to flourish.  Now consider those where there is a nil balance and those in overdraft.  Are they important enough to justify working at?  If so go and make deposits in those relationship bank accounts today.

Secondly, to reiterate the key point of this trait, high trust lies at the heart of every great relationship. What do you need to do to start rebuilding trust where it is low?

Thirdly, if relationships are to prosper there must be mutual benefit.  Nothing can stop you always adopting a win-win mentality.  In our working lives this is essential if we are to make progress in the conservation world.  You will be involved in so many interactions where the other party has a different view to you.  You can only ever move things forward if you can demonstrate and deliver benefit to them as well as yourself.

Finally great relationships require a massive dose of listening.  I do think listening effectively is so rare and requires skill, commitment and discipline.  Far too often people listen only for the right to reply not the right to understand.

It’s through highly effective relationships that things get done.  Relationships that need time invested, trust, mutual benefit and listening.

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