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In a recent training on Creating Customer Intimacy, I tabled the idea that all the communication tactics in the world would never enhance your ability to have customer intimacy. Most of us live in a world where we think we have no customers. But as long as you have to work with at least one human being in the world, that person is considered a 'customer'. It could be a team member, your family, a boss, a friend. At the end of it all, we have to be very clear that in order for customers to want us, we need to make a special change to the way we do things. In my personal view, there are three kinds of relationships you can build within any organization. The first is the relationship with the world. This is what a lot of people want to do. They go on Facebook and add friends. They create an advertisement to communicate with their intended customers. They build products to sell. These are external customers, whom we are obliged to deliver maximum service and value to. The second is the relationship within the organization. They are your team members, bosses, peers and partner vendors or suppliers. The relationship here still needs to be clear: we have to build a partnership with each of them in order for the external customer to be satisfied, and to maximize their value. However, it is often not recognized that we are expected to maximize service to our internal customers. The final core of this entire model is simply the concept of the self. You have to have a relationship with yourself in order for you to know yourself better. There are many aspects of this that I have written about already, but the truth is most of us don't know ourselves intimately because it is easier to hide from our emotions, beliefs, negative thoughts and patterns of behavior. But if you were to see how the world is behaving, you'll realize this: everyone wants the dollar, the bottomline and they focus on the external world. What if this doesn't work? You aren't getting your dollar, you aren't building your followers, you aren't creating the success you aimed for in your goals? It's simple, really. It basically means the core of the executor - You - is not well grounded. You have not gone to the core and begun the process of deciding what you stand for. From a personal development standpoint, this is crucial - we cannot ignore the impact of personal development on team leadership and business strategy. I know so many people out there who crave to start a business, want to make a difference, but they stumble upon so many different problems in their life that the fruits of their laborious labor are not worth consuming. Recently, I posted on Facebook that a few of my graduates of my public programs had taken ideas, logos and frameworks that belonged to us, and had used it for their own profit. A number of very sympathetic people commented that we should take steps against them to protect our intellectual property. Of course, this is not the only time this has happened. But what makes me

reluctant to threaten or sue is simply that I am using the same energy to take them down that they used to steal our ideas. It's somewhat counter productive. It's like this: the husband blames the wife for spending too much money. The wife blames the husband for not loving her. The husband gets angry and says the wife is irresponsible. The wife shouts at the husband saying he is unreasonable. Okay - you know very well that his kind of match is "who has the fittest lungs wins". It's silly, we know, immature... and yet millions of people do this every day! I have to relook my own approach in training to promote the idea of partnerships because in many cases, past participants who want to do the same thing as us have forgotten that stealing is wrong. Stealing destroys trust and it prevents partnerships from ever happening. It's like this: you date this person, and you don't show up. You not only don't apologize, you say that your date should be more reasonable to know that you are busy sometimes. You've just asked the person to trust you to do the right thing, then you stole that trust away. The next time you ask that person on a date, you can be quite certain that the relationship has changed. If you always have the problem of quarrels and arguments in your business, it may be a sign that you are already doing things ineffectively. But to throw the blame to someone else, justifying that you are hurt, unhappy and disappointed is going to be just jaw-droppingly stupid (in my humble opinion). Partnership is the key and trust is the driver. In order for trust to take place, a sincere and clear communication must be made. Seriously, if you built all the trust you wanted but your level of competence is low, don't expect the customer to say "yes I want your service". If you created lots of competence but you break your customer's trust, you may be great the first day, but not the subsequent days. Balance this by looking inside, because unless you are congruent with the external world, it's going to be hard to strive to achieve goals. Sure, we all have this "superhero complex" sometimes. Get over it! The world does NOT revolve around us and our dreams all the time. As Zig Ziglar once said, you can get anything in life you want, if you help enough other people get what they want. True partnership requires sacrifice, giving, not expectations and taking. It is this Beast inside of us that needs to bend, to change. Maybe we've been constantly thinking we were always right, aggressive and caring more about ourselves. But change is necessary. That's when the Beauty takes notice and changes along. And then, the spell of Evil can be broken, and the Beast be transformed back to the handsome prince he once was. The classic story ends but our new journey begins with a question: can we make our partners fall in love with us and keep loving us?

Stuart Tan has been a trainer for 15 years spanning over 120,000 in his combined audience. He has a passion for personal development and believes that this is the single most important factor that creates profits, motivation and drive in organization. For more information, visit him at

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==== ==== Learn how to solve personal and professional problems ==== ====

Personal developement and your partners  

With over 10 million copies sold this book remains one of the best self improvement guides ever written.

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