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If you want to know the ONE super-secret recipe to success on LinkedIn and business and life in general, here it is.

It’s all about prioritizing relationships with others.

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In fact, prioritizing relationships doesn’t always mean gift-buying or gift-giving. It can, but it’s really going to depend on the relationship in question. There are several ways you can show respect and appreciation in any relationship. I really like the model that Gary Chapman set up in “The 5 Love Languages,” so here they are:

  1. Sharing words of affirmation
  2. Providing acts of service
  3. Giving & receiving gifts
  4. Spending quality time together
  5. Sharing a physical connection

I bring those up because they give some great ideas about how to connect with others, which is how you are showing them, though action, that they’re a priority in your life.

Looking at number one, for example: it’s a great way to guide your initial connections on LinkedIn. As you reach out to potential or new connections, you aren’t going to start off by trying to sell them your top-of-the-line products and services (or anything, really). No! You’re going to take the time to get to know them better. Maybe let them know that you really appreciate that they support no-skill animal shelters; or that you’d love to connect because you each have kids who are into soccer; or whatever other reason you’ve got for wanting to connect.

Acts of Service: Now, it’s a little bit harder to provide actual acts of service for colleagues and new connections on LinkedIn. However, if they’ve got a question or are looking for a resource you happen to have, why not answer their need? Give them the information or access that they need. Not only are you prioritizing the relationship with them and building trust, but you’re also setting yourself up as an expert. Two birds with one stone isn’t half bad!

Gifts are always nice! I *love* sending thank you gifts to people who have been instrumental in helping me in some way or another. And you know what? I have yet to have anyone complain about me sending them a gift. Probably because there’s usually food involved, but that’s not the point.

Time is the ultimate gift for many people. My kids love to spend time with me – and they love to cuddle. I really don’t mind combining time with physical touch when it comes to them. Well, unless they’re covered in slimy boogers. Then I’d prefer to wipe their noses first. And maybe bathe in some sanitizer afterwards so I don’t get sick. But I’ll still cuddle them anyway because I love them and I want them to know it.sport-large

So remember to prioritize people this year. And it’ll make for an absolutely amazing 2016.

Which of the 5 ways (or maybe another way) is how you like to be acknowledged and recognized? What about the rest of your team? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Comment below or send me an email and let’s connect.

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