Thursday, March 5, 2009

Can’t Fake Relationships

I teach a class at a local college around the issue of ‘sponsorship’. The main theme emerging is that it all boils down to relationships - creating, enhancing and managing them. Real relationships - not sales pitches or insincere overtures.

I am amazed how people still want shortcuts to developing relationships - as though folks are commodities to be labeled and shelved. As though they are predictable and have no needs and focus of their own.

I can’t tell you how many times I find myself saying lately - people want to work with people they like. (November post - Please Like Me) No one wants to be used though we often are pleased to be useful.

Sponsors are not ATMs where you withdraw money and move on. Sponsors are a partner in your journey whether they are mentors, peers, references or donors to a particular event.

I hang my head when folks ask me how to fake a relationship. No one wins in those situations. You can usually tell when someone is being contrived about listening to you or asking for your input. There are no ways to sneak past someone’s need to build trust or speed their journey towards it - no magic bullet and no way to avoid mistakes along the way.

People/relationships are messy like a spaghetti dinner. If you don’t have sauce on your shirt, you weren’t eating!

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