I have a friend whose superpower is to state the obvious in a way that makes people suddenly realize the truth that has been staring them in the face and they take action. It’s truly a magical thing to watch unfold. So I’m going to do my best to channel that power for this post.

There was a wonderful article published in Fast Company this week about relationship currency. The idea is basically that doing good work is not enough in the work world; you also need to cultivate productive relationships.

My knee-jerk reaction to the article was, “Duh.” But in the same way that common sense isn’t all that common these days, common courtesy is arguably on the decline as well. There are many reasons for this. The corporate world has changed from a 9-5 to a 24/7 always-on environment. Workers are stressed and that stress often causes people to behave badly. My advice is to inject some kindness into whatever you do at work – people need it more than you know!

More times than I can count over the past 20 years, the best things happened at work because I took the time to build productive relationships. Not because I hoped to one day get something out of it, but simply because I believe in treating everyone as a human who deserves kindness. Interestingly, whenever I needed help with something at work, help appeared in the form of the many relationships I had developed. 

Even now, as I work to grow my own business, my relationships are here with me, helping me and cheering me on. I honestly can’t imagine how anyone could expect to be truly successful without having the advantage of relationship currency.

So in the age of automation, don’t let someone’s interaction with a chatbot be the nicest thing they hear today. Instead, be the uncommon courtesy your workplace is missing. People will respond in kind.


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