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The inspiration for this post came whilst listening to one of my favourite podcasts – Manager Tools.

One of the presenters shared the adage, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” to describe how you create better relationships with suppliers by being nice rather than being forceful or rude.

I think she was absolutely right. Not just about supplier relationships, but relationships in general.

There is a sweet and a sour approach…

There is the sour way. Using role power or pushing people to do the things you want is only going to create compliance. It might seem quicker and what ‘leaders’ are there to do – give instructions. But when things go wrong or the expected outcomes aren’t achieved, they will step aside and blame the process or you for giving them the instruction. This also goes nowhere towards motivating people in the long run.

But there’s also the sweet way. Engaging people in the process, asking for their input and genuinely listening to their suggestions as you implement the change will create advocacy. People will be bought in to achieving the agreed outcomes and will naturally work hard to ensure success.

Being genuine, asking questions and listening are “just like honey”. This approach will help you catch more flies with whatever relationships you are looking to develop.

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