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Worth repeating: What makes a relationship resilient?

BY ALAN ARMSTRONG

I spoke last week at a gathering of sales people, and we really dug in to the concept of power in relationships. Many of us feel power imbalances in relationships, but perhaps none more than a sales person.

Although the rewards can be high, many times sales people feel that the customer has all the power, and this can result in severe compromises in the selling process. (What is your average discount rate? How many times do you "throw in" free services to make a deal?)

In this post from 2010, I talked with executive coach and teaming expert, Michael Papanek, about a model for relationships that he calls "Resilient". I am beginning to apply these same concepts to the relationship between buyer and seller, though when we discussed it last year we talked about the Product Manager's primary relationships.

I think you'll learn something from this discussion regardless of where you apply it, and I'd love to hear from you about your experiences. Enjoy.

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How much does your success rely on good relationships? And how good

are your relationships? In my experience,relationships can make or break a person, and I think that the quality of our relationships is overlooked when we consider the success of our product lines.

My friend and colleague Michael Papanek has developed a model called the Resilient Relationship. This model will help you understand your professional - and I would venture, your personal - relationships. Beyond understanding, Michael provides some strategies that you can use to make things better when relationships have gone wrong.

I interviewed Michael recently. Here is the conversation. (Download MP3).

Resilient Relationships with Michael Papanek

Please send us your feedback on this podcast, and ideas for future episodes!

- Alan

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