Relationship Capital – The Currency of Significance

In a world where the power of social networks is seemingly overtaking the perceived value of one to one relationships, I want to provide a much needed perspective on how you can go about impacting others with greater impact.

The Client Experience Institute™’s design of a Relationship Capital Impact Model is predicated upon adopting a different mindset. It truly sets people apart and all can learn regardless of one’s specific industry, position, or style. Above all else, you must genuinely care about serving others and enjoy seeing them thrive through your contributions.

Let us begin by providing a definition. Relationship Capital (RC) is the distinctive value created by people in a business relationship. RC is personal and derived from one to one interactions, because it represents the quality of your behaviors, traits and interactions over a period of time. It is a direct reflection of your character, as experienced, by those who know you and can testify as to your qualities. Information is fast becoming a commodity and becoming a value-added knowledge interpreter, as it is part of the lifeblood of RC.

Foundationally, you need to possess the following attributes before advancing through the different stages of RC impact.

  • Creditability – a quality that allows others to believe in you by what you say and do – words, intentions, and actions.
  • Integrity – a quality of honest and truthful motivations by the actions we take. It is our ability to deliver on the promise.
  • Authenticity – the quality of being genuine and representing that we are.

Before you embark upon the voyage of increasing your RC impact, one needs to be mindful of the Relationship ABC’s. This serves to provide a foundational understanding of each person’s aspirations, beliefs and concerns.

Let’s take a closer look to better understand each of these three characteristics.

  • Aspirations – the goals and desires that an individual holds in high regard. These can be professional or personal in nature and typically internalized as a compelling passion.
  • Beliefs – the guiding principles that make up a person’s moral compass. These transcend both the professional and personal aspects of an individual.
  • Concerns – Whether personal or professional in nature, these can be more situational and range from more immediate impediments to longer term challenges.

With this as a backdrop, we now can introduce you to the five stages of the RC impact model and provide some needed context to each level.

5 Levels

Click on the image to view the 5 stages

Level 1 –  Subject Matter Expert

You possess deep domain experience and perceived as being authentic, creditable and trustworthy. Though seen as a problem solver, your stakeholders still do not view you as critical to the business. They are willing to share certain information, but it is limited in scope.

Level 2 – Voice of Reason

Viewed as a critical thinker and creative problem solver sharing different perspectives. At this level, one can challenge others and offer alternatives. Still seen through the lens of your specialty and perceived as an educator.

Level 3 – Trusted Advisor

Perceived as one of the best in your field and the trusted. Earned the right to advise without hesitation. Helps you understand the ramifications of different options and teaches me new things.

Level 4 – Business Accelerator

Seen as a value creator and is someone who advances my business. Empowers me to achieve more and advocates on my behalf. At this level, your impact centers around revenue enhancement, risk or cost avoidance, ease of doing business, and organizational development contributions.

Level 5 – Indispensable Partner

Viewed as a relationship catalyst and consulted before any major decision is made. You are able to offer unexpected insights impacting the person and their business. Able to help the person see what can be and has access to a robust network that is called upon to deliver both business as well as personal assistance.

As we learn and grow from this process of thinking, remember we live in a world of plentiful networking opportunities where our challenge is not unveil more connections, but unleash more meaning. Furthermore, it is about investing in people to exchange relationship currency, accumulate reputation capital, and build professional net worth.