Course Notes: Relationship Management

1. Big Picture of Relationship Management
2. 2-minute rule
3. Bonding and Rapport
4. Personality Differences
5. Transactional Analysis
6. OK/NotOK
7. Neural Linguistic Programming (NLP)
8. Strokes
9. Customer Profiles
10. Some people rules
11. Corporate Personality
12. Rules

1.Big Picture of Relationships

Rule: No one ever died, saying “I wished I had made more money, or spent more time at the office”

If a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one there to hear it, does it make noise?

Without relationships, you can only accomplish what you can do yourself.

Your accomplishments are only important in so far as they have an impact on someone. The results of your efforts must be accepted by others.

Others can refuse your contribution for a lot of reasons:

• Not sufficient value
• Doesn’t address a need
• They don’t want to help you
• They actively want to “un-help” you

Rule: “The ability to make and manage relationships is the single most important skill for effectiveness”

2.The “2-Minute Rule” of Bonding and Rapport:

1. People make a judgment on first meeting you to decide:

a. Are you competent
b. Can you be trusted

2. It is over in 2 minutes

a. A good CEO takes 15 seconds,
b. An inexperienced professional takes 4 minutes

3. Most of the communication is non-verbal

4. Once a Judgment is made, it is seldom changed

a. A positive judgment – start the next 2 minutes, but with a lower detector

b. A negative judgment is almost never changed to positive

5. Learn to control your behavior for 4 Minutes

Ref: Benton

• How is such core information communicated so quickly?

• Why do we have such a strong “competence and trust” detector hardwired?


3.Bonding and Rapport:

Overall Goal: Get Comfortable with the other person. This is called Rapport. It involves

• Human Relations
• Personality
• Communication
• Psychological Issues

Rapport is established by:

1. Physiology (body language)
2. Tonality (How you say it)
3. Verbal (words we use)

To build Rapport, you must show a genuine interest in the other person, as a person. It cannot be “phony”.

A lot of our ability to establish interest comes from remembering things about the other person
Learn to use a Customer Profile!!! This is the engineer’s crutch.

• Keep track of your customer’s interests
• Have it in front of you EVERY time you make a call
• Review it before every face to face interaction
• Keep it current

4.Personality and Information Processing Differences:

There are many ways to describe the differences between people.

1. Personality “Handedness”

b. Myers-Briggs
c. Emotional/ Physical/ Intellectual centered
d. Others

2. Neural Linguistic Programming (NLP)

a. Visual/ Auditory/ Kinesthetic

3. Birth Order

a. First, Second, Last

4. Left Brain/ Right Brain dominant

5. Transactional Analysis

a. Parent (CP/ NP)
b. Adult
c. Child (NC/ AC/ RC)

6. Techniques for building and maintaining relationships

a. OK/NotOK
b. Strokes
c. Active listening
d. Mirroring and Matching
e. Rescue

5.Introduction to Transactional Analysis

What is it? Why study it? When would I use it?

• TA is the science of how people interact. (Every interaction is a “transaction”).

• Developed and popularized in the late 60’s (Thomas Harris et al)

• Fundamental to the understanding of Sales and Communication

• Fundamental to understanding and managing people.

• No sales, no people, no business

We have several “ego states”, from which we can respond to an “event”

Parent State:
Critical Parent
Nurturing Parent

Adult State:

Child State:
Adaptive Child
Rebellious Child
Natural Child

T.A. (cont.)

Examples of responses to a question: “Would you do this for me?”

CP: Why can’t you do this yourself?
NP: I’d be happy to help you, if you need the help

A: Certainly, for the proper consideration

AC: I’ll do whatever you want
RC: Screw off
NC: Let’s forget it and go party

You also don’t really know from which state a question comes.
e.g. “Where were you last night?” might mean:

CP: I know you were doing something you shouldn’t have done, what was it?

NP: I was worried about you, are you OK?

A: I am just seeking information, to show interest in your life.

AC: Did I do a good job looking after business while you were away?
RC: Who are you to leave me alone?
NC: Why didn’t you ask me to go along for the good time?

Problems arise from “Cross Transactions”, i.e. a child response to an adult question.
Straight transactions:

Parent to parent
Child to child
Adult to adult
Parent to child
Child to parent

States to strive for as a business leader
Nurturing Parent
Adult (Selective use of critical parent)

States to strive for in sales
Nurturing Parent

Avoid Child states.

Birth Order impacts your “most comfortable” child state”:

First born: Adaptive
Second Born: Rebellious
Last-Born: Natural

Rule: “Nurture, nurture, nurture”

In many companies the “Critical Parent” is institutionalized in the corporate culture. How can this be changed?

Rule: “The normal response to Critical Parent is Rebellious Child”

6.OK / Not OK

98% of people want to feel “OK”. (2% actively seek to be not OK)

If you are feeling “not OK” for some reason, it is normal to try to fix it

• Most usual approach is to find someone more “not-OK” than you are
• “At least I’m not that bad”

If you find someone “Too not-OK”,

• Try to help them
• Avoid them
• Shoot them

If you find someone “too-OK”, it is normal to “try to make them less OK”

• How do you feel about Bill Gates?
• If people are “too-OK” we try to take them down a peg.

Most people spend a lot of time trying to maintain their OK-ness.

Most people will help you become “more-OK”, so long as you don’t become more OK than they are.

• What happened to Clinton’s popularity during his impeachment?

We get our OK-ness through interactions with other people.

• Through these interactions we have “transactions”, where Ok-ness is transferred

7.Neural Linguistic Programming (NLP):

People process information in different ways

• Visual
• Auditory
• Kinesthetic

The way you learn (receive and process information) can be different than the way you teach (transmit information).

Everyone is different. RESPECT the differences.

• Do not assume everyone is like you
• Take the time to learn how your audience works
• When in doubt, use all three: Show it, Say it, Let them feel it

Further reading: Brooks,M; “Instant Rapport”


Strokes are
• The unit of transaction between people.
• What everyone actually works for. People don’t work for
money, once their basic requirements are met

Strokes can be:

• Verbal
• Auditory
• Kinesthetic

Strokes can be:

• Conditional
• Unconditional
• Positive
• Negative
• Boomerangs

Everyone has a “stroke requirement” that has to be filled up EVERY DAY.

• Some have LARGE requirements
• Some have small requirements
• Some can never get their requirements met

A relationship can be defined by the “normal” number of strokes between the parties.
• Both parties will strive to maintain the average.


• If a person is stroke deprived, they will spend their time
looking for strokes
• If someone gives you a stroke, they are often looking for
one The most effective people are masters at managing strokes.

9.Customer Profiles

The most powerful positive stroke is showing genuine interest in another person

• Remembering something personal
• Inquiring about their peers, family, work, or hobbies

Some people’s brains are wired to retain this information naturally, other’s are not

• Technical people are typically the worst. (It is not an accident that you did not choose a “people profession”)

How do you keep track of this information, so you can give strokes when necessary.

• Write it down, in a manner that you can retrieve it when necessary.

This is called a Customer Profile. (Taken from Harvey McKay’s 66 points)

• Have it in front of you when you make a phone call
• Review it before you see someone face-to-face
• Keep it current. Update after each call or meeting where you get new information
• Keep it simple.

This is probably the most powerful tool you can adopt as a technical person

Rule: “In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king”

Note: The information on the following 2 pages is an example only. Use a template that is right for your business. Also, this can be incorporated into your contact manager, such as Lotus organizer, or MS Outlook.

Download the PDF to see the Customer Profile (See image link above)

10.Some (non-obvious) People Rules:

• What is the image a person takes the most “trouble” to present? Assume he is the opposite.

“A good miner never finds gold”.

• If someone accuses you of something, and you are not doing it, assume he is doing it. (e.g. lying, back-dealing, etc.). Otherwise, it would not be in his “frontal lobes”

• If you are doing it, or thinking about doing it, he/she may just be astute

• Everyone is in the game for their own reasons. The better you understand the reasons of your key team members and customers, the greater your chance of success.

Some e-People rules:

• The Person in front of you is ALWAYS more important than your phone, PDA, or any other interruption. Never “take a call”, unless you have warned of it in advance.

• Instant Communication devices (e.g. cell phones, Blackberries) enable micromanagement. This destroys the “bench” in an organization, and overworks the upper management. Not good, long term fatal.

• Mass communication technology can enable “single issue advocacy” groups to hijack an organization. Act quickly to fix, or you will be the next victim.

11.The Personality of Your Corporate Culture

Corporations have personalities. It is instructive to look at your corporate culture from what we have learned.

1. Parent State:

a. Critical Parent
b. Nurturing Parent
c. Adult
d. Child


a. Dominant (Results focused)
b. Influencing (Customer focused)
c. Steady Relater (People focused)
d. Cautious thinker (Analysis focused)

3. Decision-Making style

a. Decisive: (little information, single outcome)
b. Flexible: (Little information, multiple outcomes)
c. Integrative: (Lots of information, multiple outcomes)
d. Hierarchic: (Lots of information, single outcome)

4. Information Processing(NLP)

a. Visual: (Like charts and graphs, and written reports. Simple measurables)
b. Auditory: (Like data, tables of numbers, presentations, complicated measurables)
c. Kinesthetic (Need to “touch”. Visit the vendors, see the plants, get comfortable. Resistant to change relationships)

5. Type of Company

a. Operationally Excellent
b. Product and technology
c. Customer Empathy

6. Corporate Motivation Behaviors

a. Stroke giving: High / Low
b. Type of strokes: Conditional / unconditional Positive / negative / boomerang
c. Accountability: High / low
d. Results-rewards linked: Strong / weak

7. Other Corporate Personality traits

a. _____________________________
b. _____________________________
c. _____________________________
d. _____________________________
e. _____________________________
f. _____________________________
g. _____________________________
h. _____________________________
i. _____________________________
j. _____________________________
k. _____________________________
l. _____________________________

Rule: Unfortunately, your success in an organization is proportional to your “match” to the Corporate Personality (especially “decision-making style).


• People like to interact with people they feel comfortable with.

• People have different personalities. Learn and respect the differences

• We get our OK-ness through transactions with other people

• Nurture, Nurture, Nurture

• The normal response to Critical Parent is Rebellious Child

• Effective people use and manage strokes

• Use Customer Profiles. In the country of the blind, the one- eyed man is king.

• Your Company has a personality. Know it, work within it. If you have a mismatch, recognize it and move on.

• Beware of “frontal lobes” issues

• Everyone is in the game for their own reasons.

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