Using ACT to build effective professional relationships and create a kick-butt business plan.
In Creative Processes To Build A Business; Part I, I talked about how drawing from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) can help small business owners identify and connect to their values, which is the imperative first step in developing a successful and sustainable business plan and strategy. In Creative Processes To Build A Business Vision And Mission; Part II, I talked about how drawing from values can help small business owners develop their vision and then mission. Your vision is the overarching hope you have for your business, yourself and the clients and/or customers you serve. A clear and concise mission, also based on values, is how that vision is put into action. If you missed either blog, I recommend checking them out before reading on.
In Creative Processes For Building Business Relationships; Part III, the third and final installment of the 2018 blog series for small business owners, we’ll explore how your vision and mission can be combined to create a business philosophy and the importance of building and maintaining successful and sustainable business relationships. Adele Burney, a writer for Chron, suggests in her article The Importance of a Business Philosophy that a business philosophy is the map for your employees and others who want to see the blueprint of your business and what supports the culture of your business.
While creating a vision and a mission are a must for any business to be successful, developing a philosophy is a personal choice. Essentially, your business philosophy is your vision and mission wrapped up in one succinct statement or short paragraph. Working on a philosophy can help you further clarify your vision and mission and how they inform each other. However, if both your vision and mission are solid, you may choose to keep them separate—although they will work in tandem as you implement your small business branding. Your business branding, whether informed by your vision and mission or a combined philosophy, will be the basis of everything you do, including how you build and sustain solid professional relationships.
Building Business Relationships
A philosophy inclusive of a vision and mission can—and should—be used as a platform in developing relationships with others, both in your personal and professional lives. Deciding who you are and what is important to you (your values) and then showing up consistently is the hallmark of any successful relationship. People value predictability, which leads to feelings of safety. As any of us in the mental health field would tell you, a safe and trusting therapeutic relationship is the cornerstone of any successful therapy. However, creating consistency and building feelings of safety and trust can take you far in any relationship, field or industry. Being consistent shows that you are who you say you are, which we all know is important in friendship, partnership and parenting. And, it’s no different when building your business.When building business relationships, draw from your values, vision, mission and/or philosophy to show people who you are, whether they be your employees, colleagues, clients, customers or other people in the industry. With high fidelity, accountability, consistent ethics and integrity, you get to show people that you have the confidence to be who you say you are. Consistent actions that are in line with your values and the vision and mission of your business lead to sustainable professional relationships. And, when people see you are predictable, it builds trust. And, trust allows people to like you, hire you and continue to hire you.
It takes time and perseverance to build trust and to be seen as an expert in your field (even if you don’t call yourself that), but trust is what leads to long-term success in business. Think of your favorite restaurants, brands and even bands. You return to the eatery, retail store and live shows over and over again because you know what to expect—that it will be enjoyable, reliable, functional, etc.
And, don’t just stop with relationships. How you spend your money, time and engage in your community should also be informed by your vision, mission and philosophy. It’s often said that how you do one thing is how you do everything. As you shape your philosophy and/or hone your vision and mission and begin building relationships, come back to how you want to show up in the world and why. And go do that … consistently.
Put Your Kick-Butt Business Plan Into Action
What we’ve explored in these last three business blogs create the foundation for any successful and sustainable business. Now that you have all of this information, it’s time to ACT on it. As always, I’d love to hear about your experience in identifying your values and creating vision, mission, philosophy and professional relationships. If you feel stuck, I invite you to ask a question in the comment section. I’d also love to hear if something shared in one of these blogs really resonated with you. Or, if something not mentioned helped you in developing a business strategy and/or building business relationships, please share that, too!