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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Importance of Building Relationships

By Siewlee Hiew

What are relationships? Why are they important and why do we need to build relationships?

Relationships are the connections people have with each other. Every human being has a deep desire to be connected with others. Everyone, regardless of age or gender, has a need to have other people around them. There is no difference between the young and the old, the males or the females, the married or the singles. No one likes to be alone. In fact, everyone in this world is connected by relationships, directly and indirectly thus forming a network.

There are different types of relationships that one can have. There are the personal relationships between men and women, and those among friends and family, as well as spiritual relationships between a believer and his god. Then there are the professional relationships among the people working together or who are connected through the course of their work or careers. In addition, there are the business relationships between customers and vendors, investors and brokers as well as between partners in joint ventures. Sometimes, the line between these different types of relationships may not be clear and may overlap. Personal relationships between friends and family may lead to professional or business relationships. In the same manner, business partners may also become the closest of friends.

It is important to have relationships because being connected to other people helps us to survive in this world, even more so in this modern time and era. In order to be successful not only in our careers and in the monetary sense but also in living a happy and fulfilling life, we have to be associated with other people as we require their input. We need to have rich and meaningful relationships and we need true and lasting friendships as well as trustworthy business partnerships.

It must be pointed that such relationships do not happen overnight. These relationships have to be built over time. They must be built on trust and integrity, loyalty and sincerity. When relationships are founded on these very important factors, they usually last a lifetime or maybe even through the generations. A lot of times, when adults are good friends, their children will tend to develop lasting friendships too. Similarly in business, partnerships tend to span over the generations when there is trust and integrity. Usually, a good relationship between two individuals will expand into a bigger network of mutual friends or business associates and partners. Thus, building good relationships and a network is the key to success and happiness leading to true wealth.

Having said that, it is important to note that relationships can also be fragile and one has to be careful when dealing with the parties involved. People are only human and they have their own ways and shortcomings. Everybody is different and no two individuals are alike and it is not easy to get along with everyone. However, to build meaningful and lasting relationships we must learn to be understanding and accept them as they are. We must learn to be a friend.

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