The KLT (Know, Like, and Trust) Factor for Relationship Building
In today’s rapidly changing and highly competitive business environment it is more crucial than ever to concentrate on building high quality sustainable relationships. Unfortunately many leaders forget to leverage the KLT Factor when communicating face-to-face to build that vital rapport. But when people know, like, and trust you it strengthens your personal brand and accelerates your rise up the corporate ladder.
So here are a few tips for leveraging your presence to achieve greater success through great professional partnerships:
Know: Show Your Softer Side
Being professional does not mean that all of your conversations have to revolve around business. As a matter of fact if you allow people to get to know your multi-dimensional image and personal side it can enhance the experience of teamwork, expand your network, and make you more memorable to your superiors. But there is a gulf of difference between personal life and private life, though, so don’t make the inappropriate mistake of blurring those lines.
Weave anecdotes about such things as your significant other, family, pets, and hobbies into conversations. Share stories with your team about what you’ve learned to get where you are. Allow them to get to know you as a leader who is also human and approachable and has learned from mistakes along the way.
Like: Respect the Presence of Others
Person-to-person encounters are like gold in this era of high-tech digital interface. They represent priceless opportunities for focused two-way communication where you can leverage KLT through body language, tone of voice, open-ended inquiry, and listening for what is – and isn’t – said.
Don’t hide behind texting, tweeting, or email when you have a million dollar face-to-face opportunity right in front of you. As always be aware of the spoken and silent messages your image and presence convey during these personal interactions.
Trust: Be a True Confidante
Trust is an invaluable asset that is not handed to you but has to be earned. Sometimes leaders think that just because they have a title or status that means people will automatically trust them, but that is a big myth. If anything, people may trust you less once you ascend to a level of power that gives you influence over their careers. Become a confidante – that highly trusted person within whom we have implicit confidence. Keep the secrets of others and guard whatever they disclose to you with valor and integrity. An important quality like trust can never be taken for granted – and can be spoiled in an instant if you fail to respect it. As a fast-tracker or leader you cannot afford to have a reputation as the office gossip because that will undermine your leadership ability and any chance of an executive level promotion.
But on the other hand if you want to gain the respect and attention of coworkers, the HR department, and senior decision makers all you need to do is consistently project a charismatic presence through your image ABC’s of Appearance, Behavior, and Communication. That will magnetically and magically build and strengthen professional relationships to catapult your career onward and upward.
As a pioneering and visionary innovator, Sarah is a certified professional image consultant and brand strategist, speaker, trainer and author. Her company, Illustra Consulting, provides leading-edge image and brand management strategies for top leaders and high achievers who wish to take their career to the next level. She also delivers innovative and inspiring corporate workshops to assist large organizations in strengthening their corporate brand.
Copyright © 2012, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS
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