Early one morning whilst out on a photo safari, we were lucky enough to stumble upon a family of Spotted Hyena playing in the early morning sun. There were a number of males and females as well as a few young in the pack. They were chasing each other, biting playfully, baring teeth and generally having a good time. Watching them they seemed to be happy. The family unit was working well together. Each individual seemed to have their role and their relationship with regard to one another appeared clearly defined and understood.
The Spotted Hyena is native to sub-Saharan Africa and is a highly sociable animal. According to BBC Earth they deserve a lot more respect and much less contempt. More often than not, they hunt down their prey rather than scavenge. They are highly intelligent carnivores with some of the largest group sizes and complex social setups of any Carnivora. The society is matriarchal and the social system at times is highly competitive. The spotted hyena is regarded as a highly successful animal and its success is due in part to its adaptability and opportunism.
Relationships in business are a key component for every successful enterprise. Relationships built in the absence of mutual respect and trust will become toxic resulting in a total lack of effective functioning. We all know how bad it is when personal or business relationships have no trust and as a result no respect either.
I think the cornerstones of healthy relationships are:
- Trust – we all know that trust is earned. And it really is so. Trust is in the things we do. Trust is saying we will do something and then doing it. Trust is being there for each other in times of need. Reliability and being supportive is crucial in building and maintaining trust.
- Integrity – is about being honest and truthful, both to yourself and to others. Integrity is not a skill, or a learned behavior – it is a personal choice that one makes. A healthy relationship is not possible in a scenario where there is no integrity.
- Being authentic – What you see is what you get. What does that really mean? It means being true to yourself. It means being genuine and being your original self. To be something or someone other than who you really are is not being authentic.
Productive and healthy relationships are the cornerstones to personal well-being and healthy and effective business relationships. Like the Hyenas, be competitive, but not destructive. Respect and understand the need for relationships. Good relationships make for good business.