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Risk and Relationship Management: The case for early intervention

When it comes to health, many argue that prevention is better than cure.


When it comes to risk and relationship management, we argue that early intervention often renders the need for a cure redundant.


In fact, early intervention is often a cure in of itself. It is also a key component of integrity.


So how do we classify early? Is it the day before, the week before?


If the intervention is actioned after much of the damage has already been done, there is often no cure that can respond in time to change the fate of the outcome.


It is the moment you know.


When referencing deadlines, it’s the moment you get that uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach that no matter how much you try, you’re simply not going to deliver. Re-negotiating and assisting with the fallout is a significant step on the way to building and maintain trust.


So let me define risk fairly simply:

Risk is the potential of gaining or losing something of value.

It is often characterised by uncertainty of a future outcome. More importantly, it is brought to life through decision-making, or in some cases, indecision.


Risk management is not about future decisions, but about the future of decisions that we must take now. ~ Robert N. Charette


How do we reduce this risk?


First, we get informed. This immediately tips the scales in our favour, and puts us back in the driver’s seat.


Then, we can now make a decision that mitigates uncertainty and the chance of regret.

The next part of the early intervention equation we explore is within the context of relationships.


When it comes to relationship management, it’s knowing that regardless of your intention, you won’t be able to keep your commitment to the other party. If we can individually intervene early without fear of consequence, we know that we have authentically done everything within our control to establish trust and maintain our integrity.


Executive Director of the Relationship Research Institute, John M. Gottman, has researched marriage and divorce, generating hard scientific evidence on the factors that contribute to good relationships.


He states that looking for ways to accentuate the positive in one another is paramount.

Within the confines of a working environment, recognising another individual independently of their position is another way to create a connection.


If we see each other as human beings, we are more likely to form a social bond and sense of community.


We have all felt the effects of transactional relationships. They often leave you feeling empty. They are soulless.


It is much more fulfilling when you form a relationship in which each party takes a vested interest in the success and wellbeing of the other. These relationships are built on the following principles:

  1. Each person must like one another. This can be achieved in many ways. Simply being kind and helpful will often instill this pretty quickly. People are often more inclined to do business or refer people they actually like.

  2. Respect on a professional level is key. It’s often judged on how you do business. Are you punctual? Do you deliver value with integrity and care

  3. People often admire each other for who they are outside of the work arena. In addition to respect within business dealings, they seek to learn more about one another.

  4. They associate on a personal level. This provides the opportunity for them to maintain a connection long after the business relationship has ceased.

A business partnership, like marriage, is a prime example of a voluntary commitment that is based on trust. As with a divorce, the severance of a business partnership can be highly emotive.

How do we avoid it? Was it always inevitable from the outset?


The answers to these two questions are often only explored in hindsight. Most importantly, understanding the answer to these questions provides learnings.


Taking these learning’s into future relationships is what offers richness of experience.


Whether its business partnerships, employee relationships or even marriages, one thing is certain. Intervening and communicating early will establish trust.


Are you ready to operate on a foundation of trust?


Blog Tags: Trust, Communication, Relationship Management, Risk Management

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