Recently I was reminded of the importance in giving to receive. Naturally we tend to have an expectation of others to give to us without first considering how we can be of service to them (maybe not you, but I have been guilty of this!).

When we go about our daily routines, we expect to receive things like great customer service in a restaurant even though we’re on our cell phones, rarely making eye contact with the waiter/waitress. Or perhaps expecting to land a new account, while never uttering the words “what do you need?” or never asking questions to find out how you can solve their problem.

Creating Value is Personal

There’s a saying: “It’s not personal, its business.” Every time I hear that, I think of my all time favorite movie, You’ve Got Mail where the remarkable Meg Ryan says to Tom Hanks, “……what’s so wrong with being personal anyway? Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin with being personal.” I couldn’t agree more.

Our jobs, our friends, our families, hobbies and interests are all personal. Before we interact with others, we must try to consider these things as a great way to find a common interest.

Here are some key ways to creating valuable relationships with others.

1. Be Relatable. Being able to relate to someone on a personal level can remove any added pressure or nervousness in making new contacts. It’s easy to talk about common interests. Let’s face it, we love to talk about ourselves, our familes, possessions and hobbies; we love sharing memories that bring joy to our hearts. When people have the opportunity to engage in conversation where they share their passions with others the conversaton becomes memorable. That’s the point! When you engage in conversation hoping to lay the foundation for a valuable relationship to form, you want that first conversation to be memorable.

Words from the great Maya Angelou:

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

2. Be honest. A relationship built on dishonesty will not last. People do business with those they can trust. Likability isn’t everything. I talk about this in my Honest Model concept.

3. Be reliable. Strive to be the person others can count on to come through in a time of need. Possessing this trait will prove to be an invaluable asset. You will create a closer bond leading to exposure and opportunity for you personally and professionally.

4. Be consistent. Consistency is key in developing trust. Unpredictable behavior does not provide the safety and security people need when committing to a relationship.

Value can only be determined by the receiver. What is valuable to you, may not be valuable to someone else. The key is to find out what others value and become a resource or provider for that.

Mary V. Davids is Principal Consultant at D&M Consulting Services, LLC, a consultancy specializing in employee engagement, leadership coaching, career development and personal branding. Follow Mary’s blog or follow her on twitter@MVDavids.