How are you building relationships?

I took an unexpected hiatus from my bi-weekly blog because I recently lost my father-in-law.  He was a kind and gentle man who truly loved me as a daughter. Losing him reinforced to me that the time we have here is precious. I am a big believer (and you have read it before in my blogs) that spending time with a person, getting involved and making time to understand what is going on in his/her life is priceless.

Building relationships are essential in both our personal and professional lives.  It’s my opinion that we are not here just to take and consume but to give and contribute too. This idea comes from the fact that many of our life values are what we use as our platform in how we operate in business.  Who you are to clients, colleagues, business associates matter.  There will always be a client that might not be happy with you; or a colleague/business associate that doesn’t necessarily like you.  But ultimately, there should never be a question of what your values are, what you stand for, and what your integrity represents.  In many instances, clients, business associates and colleagues who hold those same values dear essentially become life - long friends; so, in honor of my father in law I would like to share some of his wisdom he unassumingly used in building relationships.  My father-in-law was:

  • Interested in everything we did and took it to the next level by getting engaged and encouraging us.  He always made us feel good about whatever we were doing.  Whether it was reading my blogs, commenting on wild life photos my husband shared with him; or, helping our daughter with her math problems.  He was interested and his actions showed that it was genuine.
  • Patient and slow to respond because he sized up the situation before he commented or gave advice.  Some would call this laid-back; but, I always felt like it was a virtue that balanced easy-going with being smart and in-tune to how to respond.  This really showed genuine emotional intelligence.
  • Kind and it’s true that kindness goes a long way.  I never heard my father-in-law utter a negative comment about anybody, thing or situation.  He was always kind.  A lot of people might associate kindness with weakness.  By showing universal kindness despite the situation is truly a sign of strength.  It takes an enormous amount of discipline to achieve kindness all of the time.

All of the above are great life lessons for me to strive to excel in both my personal life and my business dealings.  Each proposes my own unique challenges to overcome.  I will continue to try accomplish each.  Because, I know our time here is limited; and, that each special relationship is priceless.


Sonya Ruff Jarvis, is the Managing Member of Jarvis Consultants and Founder of the eRetailer Summit. Sonya has extensive experience in creating original innovative solutions to overcome major business challenges.  Sonya has spent most of her career visiting headquarters across global industries and has built strong business relationships across diverse brands. 

Sonya has a M.B.A. in Marketing. She is married and has a daughter and they live in Fairfield County Connecticut.