How To Avoid One-Sided Business Relationships

How many times have you been in a business relationship where both parties are equally excited but then it begins to wane?

To avoid falling into the traps of a business relationship not worth having, you need to avoid some common mistakes. To do so, pay attention to when a business relationship lacks reciprocity and is headed in the wrong direction.

[Related: Stop Sabotaging Your Business Relationships]

If you make a habit of ignoring connections until and unless you need something–people begin to take notice. No one wants to feel that they are being used and if they do, believe me, helping you will be the very last thing on their priority list. If your relationships really matter to you–it’s better to keep them relevant by nurturing them on a regular basis.

Consider sharing your own good news or checking in to see how they’ve fared on a recent project. Or, perhaps expressing your appreciation for the connection or congratulating them on a recent accomplishment. If you are unable to do any of these–it’s probably not a good idea to reach out when you’re in need.

Keep in mind that much like a romantic relationship a business relationship needs constant and honest feedback from both parties. Great business relationships are not one-sided. Each party needs to feel like they are receiving value.

If you value the business relationship, you will value the person. The care factor you give any relationship directly affects the quality of it, and the outcome. Be interested in the person you have the relationship with and be sincere about it. Treat them like a person, not a label–customer, supplier, job title, and so on.

What’s more, successful relationships are the byproduct of each party sharing one another’s best practices, knowledge, and wisdom. Relationships can’t build momentum when one of the parties lacks the desire to collaborate and discover new ways to win together.

A sign of you are in one-sided relationship is when there is no gratitude or lack or appreciation. Oftentimes, business relationships grow complacent to the point where one of the parties begins to take the other for granted.

When you or the other party in the relationship begins to lose appreciation for what the other is trying to accomplish, the respect quickly begins to fade.

There is what is commonly known as the 80:20 rule in nurturing business relationships, which like marriage, is going to have lulls. But if the lulls only represent 20% (or less), then you’ve got a pretty good thing going on.

If it’s outside of this range, then it’s time to re-evaluate the relationship and make a change.