Keys to Collaboration #2: Gaining Goodwill

Collaboration is a hot topic in business at the moment, but what does true collaboration for growth actually look like, and how do we develop collaborative relationships?
In a mini-series of blogposts, we’re exploring the different keys to collaboration, and what each of them means for your success. 

Tis the season for peace and goodwill, but gaining goodwill in business can be a tricky tightrope to walk. No one wants to lose their competitive edge yet a little bit of goodwill can go a long way. Goodwill can take a long time to earn, but it’s worth the investment. Here are four steps to earning goodwill in business.

Be good at what you do

It begins with competency. Having a reputation for being good at what you do speaks volumes. No one expects poor service from a business whether its your window cleaner or a multi-national consultancy firm. Being good at what you do is the start of a relationship, encouraging repeat business based on your baseline excellence.

Act with integrity

As we said in our last post, mistakes do happen, but acting with integrity in the face of them will enhance your reputation, rather than detract from it. Integrity adds a value that cannot be priced, but that clients will often be willing to pay a premium for.

Keep the peace

Working with collaboration in mind means seeking to keep the peace with all parties, even where there’s disagreement. Who knows when in the future you may wish to revisit that business relationship? Take a gracious attitude and in the face of conflict you’ll generate goodwill, which might ultimately future-proof your business.

Gain a hearing

With the groundwork of good business practice done, and a reputation for being fair and evenhanded, you will gain a hearing with your clients to advise them on better products or courses of action more suited to them. Your history of collaboration essentially makes you a member of their broader team, and the goodwill between you can result in growth and better business for both of you.