Relationship managers

One of the most important relationship management skills is the ability to get along with strangers. From cold calls to prospect met at trade shows and events, the skill of conversion and persuasion makes relationship management far easier.

relationship management skills

14 Tips For Improving Your Relationship With Your Boss

It reportedly began in 1958 when a woman named Patricia Bays Haroski registered the holiday with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because she wanted to designate a day for employees to show appreciation for their managers. Haroski chose Oct. 16 because it was her father’s birthday, and she working for him at the time as a secretary for the State Farm Insurance Company in Illinois.

Millions of appreciative workers will take full advantage of the day; thanking their boss’ for their support, encouragement and guidance throughout the year. Others, however, have little to celebrate today. These are typically employees who have terrible relationships with their managers.

“It’s very important to have a strong, or otherwise healthy relationship with your boss for a variety of reasons,” says Teri Hockett, chief executive of What’s For Work?, a career site for women. “First, your boss has a tremendous amount of influence over workplace stress, whether real or perceived. They can make the workplace exciting and something to look forward to each day, or a place that you dread visiting. In short, your health is at stake," she says. "Second, they typically hold the key to your advancement within the company, or sometimes outside as well. Without a good relationship, they may not speak highly of you or consider nominating you to other positions, departments or companies, regardless of your performance. And third, having a good relationship with your boss just makes sense. Work consumes most of your time usually, and having good relationships will make things more enjoyable and lead to opportunities.”

Joyce Maroney, senior director of customer experience and services marketing for Kronos, a Mass.-based workforce management software and services company, says the boss-employee relationship is much like others we need to manage in our lives. “We get out of them what we put into them – as long as both parties are committed to the relationship,” she says. “If both parties aren’t clear in communicating their expectations and giving feedback when expectations aren’t met, little issues can snowball to the point the relationship is no longer viable.”

Maroney says a recent Kronos survey revealed that 69% of employees believe their managers set a good example in the way they behave and 92% of those employees also believe their managers adhere to those values on a regular basis. “But setting a good example for behavior doesn’t always translate into a strong relationship. Employees might not get the direct and constructive performance feedback they need to elevate their career–or the boss isn’t all that invested so he or she doesn’t push the team to consistently achieve and grow.”

Sandy Mazur, a division president at Spherion, a recruiting and staffing firm, agrees. “In order to grow, learn and advance in their careers, employees need to be on the same page with their supervisors about their goals, objectives and career path,” she says. “And employees should start this dialogue so that they can open the lines of communication with their supervisor and engage them in this process.”

According to a recent Spherion “Emerging Workforce” study, most workers rate their relationship with their supervisor as good, great or excellent (84%). “However, for the small amount of people that rate their relationship as weak, it could be related to trust. Strong relationships are based on trust from both parties, and it takes an open line of communication from both the employee and the supervisor to make that happen.”

Andy Teach, a corporate veteran and author of From Graduation to Corporation, says sometimes it’s simply due to the “very nature of the boss-employee dynamic.” “If an employee has someone over them who is constantly telling them what to do and in many instances, how to do it, this can easily cause friction and resentment,” he says. “An employee is always being held accountable by their supervisor and this just adds stress to the employee’s already stressful work day. In addition, there are many employees who are jealous of their boss and perhaps feel that they, not the boss, should be the one in charge. Again, this causes resentment toward the one person at work who has the most control over your career.”

“You don’t have to love your boss but you need to be able to work well with them. One of the main reasons employees leave their job is because of their boss. A troubled relationship with your boss can negatively affect your morale, your productivity, your happiness, and of course, your career. A positive relationship can improve your morale, productivity and happiness which could lead to more career success in the form of promotions, raises and higher self-esteem.”

Maroney says a “strong relationship” may mean different things to different people, but what she has seen again and again is that “it’s important to manage your relationship with your boss if you expect to prosper in a job.”

Ambition and motivation

relationship management skills

An ambitious, motivated attitude is essential for business success. People that are willing to reach out to prospects and call existing customers to learn what they’re interested in almost always excel past their complacent, passive counterparts.

There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious in sales and customer service – in fact, in the age of automated customer service and online support forms, plenty of your customers will appreciate speaking to a representative that cares about them.

With a motivated, ambitious and results-focused attitude, you’ll never struggle to connect with your customers and learn what they need. Need help staying focused and motivated? Enroll in our Motivation Booster course for entrepreneurs.

How ProjectManager Helps with Supplier Relationship Management

ProjectManager is a cloud-based software that assists companies when monitoring, tracking and collaborating with suppliers by providing real-time data for more insightful decision-making. Our tool allows you to share data with suppliers and keep everyone up-to-date on performance and changes through email notifications as well as alerts in the software.

Track Performance on Real-Time Dashboards

Since our software is online, a supplier relationship manager can monitor and track various metrics on performance and progress with a real-time dashboard. The dashboard is already set up and ready to go, unlike with inferior software, and automatically collects data, crunches the numbers and displays it in easy-to-read charts and graphs. The joint demand of tracking is also addressed by being able to share this information with suppliers throughout the relationship life cycle.

ProjectManager’s dashboard view, which shows six key metrics on a project

Generate Instant Reports for Stakeholders

To share more details on performance and help with demand forecasting with your strategic partners, there are one-click reports on status, costs and more. These reports can be easily shared with suppliers to keep them updated on performance, either as a PDF, Excel or CSV attachment or printed if the supplier prefers. Each report can be filtered to focus on the performance metric that is being tracked.


Store All Supplier Documentation in One Place

ProjectManager has unlimited file storage to store all your supplier documentation in one place. The account manager role is streamlined and security settings can be set to allow your supplier to have access to only those parts of your data you want to share. The supply base is transparent between the company and the supplier. Collaboration is also facilitated by comments that can be read and responded to in real time, no matter where or when they’re posted.

ProjectManager is award-winning software that connects companies and suppliers fostering collaboration and providing transparency in the procurement process. Have a central hub to collect all related materials, stay connected through notifications and share data to meet business strategy with your strategic partners. Join the tens of thousands of teams at organizations as diverse as NASA, Siemens and Nestle. Try ProjectManager today for free!


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