The Importance of Bonding and Rapport in a Time of Stress

Bonding and rapport can help you overcome challenges in this time of stress.

Suppliers and colleagues are feeling it.

Procurement is under pressure to do more with less regardless of the challenges.

This may seem different, but it is fundamentally the same trends I wrote about in 2018

Signs of stress include:

  • The tone of their voice.
  • Facial expressions.
  • Body language.
  • An email unlike any other your colleague or supplier has sent previously.
  • Normally patient people are suddenly short with you.
  • Unrealistic demands.

When you are faced with any of these, it is easy to get angry or impatient.

If you can take a breath and put yourself in their shoes, you can change the conversation.

I have spent years working on patience.

It doesn’t come naturally for me.

The current crisis makes me dig deep to keep my cool.

The most important benefit of bonding and rapport is trust.

In a crisis, both parties need to believe that they can trust each other. 

Speaking with them is far better than email or voicemail.

I like to start each conversation or meeting by finding out how they are feeling on a personal level.

Give them as much time as they need to share how they are.

Pay attention to their body language because this can often be more important than what they say.

One step that I have found to be very helpful is repeating their statement as a question and use their words.

You might say: “Correct me if I am wrong but what I heard you say is…”

Or to cover a specific situation: “Your key supplier just informed you that they will only be able to provide 60% of the promised materials, is that correct?”

Or: “Let me see is I understand this, the service provider has to follow new guidelines that will reduce their ability to meet your requirements as promised.”

This simple process communicates that you understand their situation.

Once you come to an agreement on the issues, you can review the best and worst outcomes and how to deal with them.

Your supplier or colleague will appreciate your sincere efforts to help them.

I have one other suggestion.

Resist escalating the tension.

If your spouse or child says something that aggravates you, responding the same way rarely works in calming things down.

The lessons you learn during this crisis will make you stronger going forward.

We may have a long way left to run.

Practice bonding and rapport and everyone you work with will trust you.

Action Step: Finding the right tools for your needs can be a challenging process but it doesn’t have to be. If you are uncertain where to start the process of change, a procurement professional like myself can provide guidance and expertise to help your organization achieve the results you want. If you want to go explore this topic in greater detail, please contact me. I invite you to request 30-minute discovery conversation. In my experience the next step will be apparent at the end of the call. I never assume that what I have to offer will be right for everyone, so don’t expect a sales pitch. You can reach me at 973-936-9672. 

If you would like to know more ways to reduce costs without changing the way you do business, simply give me a call or send me an email with your contact information and the best time to reach you.

You Won’t Drift to Success©

Commit to taking the next step.

Until Next Time, I Wish You Great Success in Your Business and in Your Life

Mike Jeffries