Thiagarajan Ramamurthy, Bidco Africa Ltd CEO.

By our very nature, we are social as human beings. Being social presupposes building of relationships – through daily interactions, making friends, starting families, creating networks, entering into contracts and engagements at our workplaces.

Our success as individuals, and even at the corporate level, can be attributed to the good relationship that we foster with others. Good relationships are beneficial in myriad ways, hence it is not uncommon for people to expect, work towards and measure the benefits realized from relationships.

Of course, depending on one’s limited perspective, we may sometimes be quick to dismiss these benefits and consider a relationship as either one-sided or selfish. But that is not necessarily true, because the ultimate objective of any good relationship is to add value to either party, or groups involved, irrespective of the type of engagement and alignment. A good relationship is contrived with a win-win framework in mind, and founded on good communication. These are the ingredients that will guarantee the benefits.

Sometimes, fostering successful and beneficial relationships calls for selflessness, a term that in itself can be very confusing.  It is a strong word which needs to be defined carefully. Everyone has obligations to carry out. Everyone has priorities to consider. Every situation warrants engagement and decision making. Every day is eventful and impacts on other people’s thoughts and actions. 

For instance, we have individual aspirations to develop our careers and care for our families. But what if your boss does not trust you? Obviously that will make it difficult for them to consider you for a position that may arise in the organization. Some people may therefore decide to postpone, or even forego certain plans in order to realize their aspirations. It is a choice they make. Underlying this is the fact that good relationships gives us the freedom to choose, the freedom to focus on opportunities, instead of being distracted or weighed down by negativity. 

However, managing that choice is the freewill that one may choose to forego. That is being selflessness, which means sacrificing something that one is entitled to. This virtue is not very common, but is nonetheless prevalent in people with higher level of spirituality and social consciousness.

Associating with such people can influence and inspire others, and in the process, create an infectious environment which then permeates an entire community. This kind of relationship is beneficial to society at large, including the initiators who earn credibility and good reputation. Everyone benefits one way or the other.

Ultimately, good relationships morph into partnerships, which last beyond specific purposes. Such relationships trigger various types of engagements, which become platforms for better understanding. The relationships develop synergies.

In any aspect of life, we need others to associate with to serve a purpose which manifests in a relationship.  For example, we strive to maintain good relationships with our customers, suppliers and key stakeholders because they are essential to our success. The value addition determines the width and depth of relationships.

It is therefore imperative for stakeholders to have a balanced approach to focus on the common cause or purpose.  It is worth noting that the benefits of a relationship go beyond ethnicity, material and religious affiliations; networking culminates into relationship; employee engagement and environment creation result in relationship with identity; and political affiliation blooms into partnership.

The same can be discerned from student-teacher, boy-girl, man-woman, business partnership and value-based commercial transaction relationships, among other examples. The list is endless.

If you look at relationships from the philosophy-of-life perspective, you will realize that relationships are important in that they imbue confidence and give strength to manage situations. As such, a good relationship is a priceless asset.

Therefore, building lasting relationships with total commitment will result in happiness and sustainability, besides increasing the chance of success of any task we undertake. This is not only a skill, but also an attitude which everyone should develop to benefit from.

Mr. Ramamurthy is a business leader and is currently the CEO at Bidco Africa Ltd.

Email: [email protected] 

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