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Jeff Brodsky on Building Relationships (Part 2)

Jeff Brodsky on Building Relationships (Part 2)
First of all, I would say in connecting with relationships, I think as an HR professional that’s kind of what I have and what I do. And anytime somebody tries to compromise a relationship I have, it sorta evokes a violent reaction from a guy that’s not a pretty violent guy. Because that’s what I sell. So for me, if you just think about my job, there’s this really delicate balance of having the CEO and the board trust me. But knowing that I have the relationships across the organization to provide information and influence without crossing lines. And so, I do think that how you go about building a relationship, the first thing is just showing interest.
Engaging with people and just caring, recognizing when they’ve had a bad day, recognizing an accomplishment in their life. We had a woman the other day who made a point of calling my office to tell my assistant she had just celebrated her 40th anniversary. And she’s someone I’ve known at the firm, not somebody I was particularly close with, but I made a point of sending her flowers. The point was two-fold, it was to make her feel good cuz she had this accomplishment. But more importantly, flowers are one of those things, it doesn’t have to be flowers, that everyone else around sees. So it communicates a culture of caring. And I think caring is the single biggest contributor to developing relationships.
It’s sometimes, and this is unfortunate, it’s sometimes easier to step into a situation when something’s not going right. So being able to help people get out of a problem or a jam or solve a business problem, can build that relationship. You’ve helped me so now we have the connection. Winning business. We got out, we obviously, we compete every day for business. And so being able to step in, and we’re a firm of 56,000 people doing a lot of different things. And we try to bring all of Morgan Stanley to our clients. So, when people actually come together. We just had a meeting with our top 300 people globally.
Our head of wealth management got up and he was able to name five senior people that really helped them win business on the institutional side, because they went that extra mile. So I would just say, you gotta build relationships through common interests, or not common interests. Often you’ve gotta, sometimes you’ve gotta fake it, and you’ve got to talk to people about things that are interesting to them. Kids are the easiest. Everybody wants to, even those that pretend they don’t, everyone wants to talk about their kids or their pet. That’s an easy thing to get people to engage in.
But I think it can be common interest in education, it can be a common interest in where I came from or where I grew up, where I might have worked in the past. And there’s this incredible thing and the Michigan community creates this network of connecting to someone who you both know, right? There’s this web that this university creates for people. And so, that’s very disarming for people to be able to immediately connect through a common interest or person.
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