The quality of a leader can be best determined by the quality of their relationships with others. A leader is supposed to martial the strengths of a group of people to move towards a common goal. The ability of a leader to determine the strengths and weaknesses of others depends a lot on the relationship that they have with them. For a leader in business, the important relationships can be grouped into three main categories.

Employee Relationships

No matter how efficient you are, it is nearly impossible to run a successful business on your own. You are going to need to have employees to help you with the more mundane tasks. While a leader may choose the direction of the business, the employees will generally determine the pace. A healthy relationship with your employees will help you to inspire them to improve and work harder. Recognize the good work of your employees. Offer open, honest, and constructive feedback for improvement. Be kind. Try to get to know your employees personally while still respecting their privacy. You’ll be amazed at the improvements your business experiences as you do.

Customer Relationships

There is no such thing as a business without a paying customer. Anything that claims to be a business without a customer is just a money drain. For this reason, happy, satisfied customers are everything for a business. You can build a better customer relationship by communicating with them better. If a customer has a concern or question, they need to be able to easily get in touch with you. You can improve customer service by using real time messaging platforms. This can eliminate the frustrating experience that customers often have when they call in and get placed on hold.

Supplier Relationships

Suppliers can be the cause of some of your biggest problems in business. A late supplier can cause a customer to receive a product late. If you manufacture a product, your entire plant could be shut down because you are missing a part. Making sure that your supply chain runs smoothly requires that you build a good working relationship with your suppliers. You should know the names of your contacts for each supplier. You should regularly communicate with them. Thank them for prompt deliveries. Strive for clear communication about lead times. It can even be a good idea to have lunch with them on occasion.

It is important to realize that quality relationships don’t just magically happen. They require a concerted effort. If you don’t have a plan for improving your customer, employee, and supplier relations, you are at best going to maintain them. At worst, they are going to deteriorate. Make a plan, stick to it, and you will love the results.

Read this next for more tips: How Your Business Can Improve Customer Satisfaction Through Better Service

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