Business connections: definition of the concept, reputation, connections, establishing relationships


Any business is connected with communication, with business connections. Interaction with people allows you to increase resources and make the organization more efficient. Therefore, the most important factor in the competitiveness and success of any entrepreneur is the ability to build communications in the field of operation, business communication skills and the ability to establish and maintain business connections. In any country, the presence of a developed system of business contacts for a businessman significantly increases his opportunities. After all, connections allow you to use not only your own resources, but also the “baggage” of partners and friends. The concept of business relationships includes relationships with people within the framework of professional or entrepreneurial activities. Established contacts greatly increase the capabilities of the enterprise, because partners bring with them their own set of connections, reputation, experience, knowledge, and various resources. Therefore, establishing connections is the most important task for managers and businessmen.

Psychology of business interaction

In a professional environment, it is customary to adhere to etiquette, general standards of morality and ethics.

Business communication is based on the following moral standards:

  • honesty;
  • decency;
  • justice;
  • responsibility.

But the concept of business communication also includes the psychological aspect of interpersonal relationships. They can not only be neutral-friendly, but also have the nature of fierce competition and struggle.

Business communication is not only the ability to speak, look and conduct business well, but also the ability to build interpersonal relationships.

Specifics of business communication

Communication is a complex, multidimensional process within which relationships between business partners are built, business relationships are strengthened and formed, and business goals are achieved. Business communication has the following characteristics:

  • Regularity. It is not for nothing that there are rules of business etiquette and norms of the communication code - they allow you to effectively communicate with different people in the business field. The norms of such communication have been formed over the years and are a proven tool for productive interaction with partners.
  • High degree of responsibility of communication participants for the result. Any connections in business communication are established in order to promote and develop the business, so communication participants cannot risk the reputation and future of the enterprise.
  • Formal-role organization of the communication process. Interaction in the business sphere is based on the official and status distribution of roles; communication participants must comply with the chain of command and the rules of business etiquette.
  • Neutrality and formality of relations. Within the framework of such relationships, expression and personalization are unacceptable. Interactions and speech should maintain a distinctly formal tone. For example, even spouses working in the same company must maintain distance and use formal addresses.

What are the principles of such communication?

To conduct successful negotiations, it is necessary to create a certain atmosphere. To achieve this, it is important that partners feel as comfortable as possible during the communication process. Therefore, it is necessary to know what the basic principles of business communication are that should be followed.

These include:

  • Control over emotions. The concept of principles of business communication must necessarily include this point. This is a very important point, since emotions can destroy even long-established relationships in a second and show a person from the negative side. You should not react if the interlocutor behaved unrestrainedly. Everyone should clearly understand that work and emotions are incompatible things.
  • The desire to understand the opponent. When business negotiations are conducted, the parties must be attentive to each other's opinions. If one participant constantly talks only about his own interests, without listening carefully to the other side, this will not produce any positive results, and the relationship will most likely fizzle out.
  • Concentration of attention. Very often, during the monotonous process of communication, truly important points can slip away. During the conversation, it is important to be able to focus people’s attention on the topic when it is observed that partners have stopped listening carefully and delving into really important things.
  • The truthfulness of the conversation. Running a successful business is based on trusting relationships. Let your opponents leave something unsaid or deliberately be a little disingenuous in order to exalt their own merits. But in fundamental moments it is necessary to say things that correspond to reality, which you can back up with action. This is how reputation in business is earned.
  • The ability to separate the interlocutor from the subject of communication. In no case should you mix your personal attitude towards your interlocutor and work issues. This also differentiates personal communication from business communication. It often happens that a very unpleasant opponent can be useful to you and it is not worth missing out on the benefits for the success of your business. Naturally, we are talking about things that do not violate the basic moral principles of a person. And on the contrary, it happens that very good people in your life who impress you turn out to be insolvent in business terms.

These are the basic principles of business communication that every person who wants to learn how to negotiate correctly and build a good business reputation should take into account.

Stages of business communication

Relationships in business are subject to fairly strict rules and regulations; they also apply to the sequence of actions during interaction. In general, the following stages are distinguished in business communication:

  • Preparatory. At this stage, it is necessary to comprehend the goals of the contact, prepare the necessary documents, and think over an interaction strategy.
  • Solving organizational issues. To work productively, you need to choose a place and time for the meeting, determine its format and rules.
  • Meeting and establishing contact. At this stage, it is extremely important to follow the norms of business etiquette and set your partner in a positive mood.
  • Discussion of problems. At this stage, each side expresses its position on the main issues.
  • Discussion. Communication participants put forward arguments and counterarguments in defense of their position.
  • Reaching agreements. At this stage, the search for an optimal solution to the problem occurs and a compromise is reached.
  • Decision-making. The parties confirm their agreement with the solution found.
  • Fixation of agreements. The compromise reached must be included in documents signed by all parties to the meeting.
  • End of the meeting. At this stage it is also very important to follow the rules of business etiquette.
  • Analysis of results and feedback. In business communication, the meeting does not end with goodbye; you still need to conduct a “debriefing” and draw the necessary conclusions. To maintain established connections, it is necessary to establish a communication mechanism.

The concept of “interpersonal relationships”

Each of us has our own principles, life values, moral principles, priorities and outlook on life. The interaction of one person with the people around him and the ability to establish connections with them is called interpersonal relationships.

There is a concept called “Donbar number”, which denotes the maximum comfortable number of connections for a person. Its value ranges from 100 to 230, with an average of 150 contacts.

Life in society is different, and therefore relationships are varied. Their variety depends on many factors and is classified into the following types:


  • informal\formal;
  • business\personal;
  • practical\emotional;
  • subordination\parity.

Let us consider each type of interpersonal relationship in detail below.

Types of organization connections

Any enterprise interacts with external and internal audiences. On this basis, external and internal business relations of the organization are distinguished. But for the development of the company, the most interesting are still external relations with partners, potential investors, government officials, and consumers. Vertical and horizontal connections are also distinguished. The first includes interaction with high-ranking officials: representatives of authorities at various levels, with heads of larger organizations. The second means communication among equals: between managers of the same level, colleagues of structural divisions of the same level. There are also formal and informal connections, both direct and indirect.

Types of business communication

There are several classifications of business communications. Traditionally they are divided into direct and indirect. The first type of communication occurs directly face to face, and the second - through intermediaries, including the use of technical means and documents. Communication and business connections are also divided into formal and informal. In the first case, communication is subject to strict rules of business etiquette, and in the second, it is more free and friendly. There is also a practice of dividing communication into verbal and non-verbal.

Business relationships are a vital part of an entrepreneurial culture

Business relations are one of the types of social relations as the relationship between partners, colleagues and even competitors that arises in the process of joint activities in the market and in the team.

There are three types of ethical rules and regulations in business relationships:

• formal laws established and protected by society;

• universal ethical standards (“thou shalt not kill,” “thou shalt not steal,” etc.);

• norms of group behavior (professional).

Although ideally they should coincide, in practice there are always discrepancies between them.

The culture of business communication includes the culture of business conversation, business meetings, the culture of receiving visitors and communicating with them, the culture of telephone conversations, business receptions, presentations, the culture of clothing and manners, written business communication and the exchange of business information by fax.

Business communication is conducted according to certain rules, which serve as an important means of increasing its effectiveness. These are the rules of etiquette, coordination, interaction and self-presentation.

Rules of etiquette

determine the order of communication and presentation (younger to older, etc.), methods of naming (by position, rank, surname), choice of communication (you, you), etc. Every detail of such rules (and there are many of them - from the ability to sit at the table and dress to the formula for greetings and farewells) has been worked out and verified over the years. Compliance with the rules of etiquette is mandatory, since those who violate them lose the status of a full participant in communication.

Rules for agreeing on interaction

they assume, for example, that when entering into a business conversation, it is necessary to comply with the following requirements: speak no more and no less than is required at the moment; don't deviate from the topic; express yourself clearly: try to make statements consistent with the truth.

Self-submission rules

associated with the individual success of participants. They are described in some detail in Dale Carneg’s book “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

Communication technique -

a set of means (techniques) used by people to achieve the desired effect in communication. They are verbal (verbal) and non-verbal (nonverbal), including facial expressions, postures, gestures, tone, eye contact, intonation of speech, and spatiotemporal organization.

Communication techniques are usually divided into behavioral techniques and listening techniques.

The criterion of sociability is the ability to listen and ask questions, since in the process of listening two important functions are realized: perception of information and providing feedback, i.e. conveying information to the speaker about how his speech and behavior are perceived.

Asking questions is an art. Many conflicts and misunderstandings can arise as a result of questions not being asked in a timely manner. To refuse to use questions to find out the intentions of the interlocutor means to open the way to guesswork and speculative constructions, which are far from always correct.

In the process of contact, an important role is played by the expression of emotions, manners and gestures of partners. Understanding gestures allows you to more accurately determine the position of your interlocutor and warn you about how to change your behavior in order to achieve the desired result. To increase competence, it is necessary to master sign language, since behavior, facial expressions, and gestures are not the same among different ethnic groups of people.

Reasons for failure in the emergence of new enterprises (Table 20.1).

The most important principles of etiquette:

Rule one - do everything on time.

Being late not only interferes with work, but is also the first sign that a person cannot be relied upon and is not fit to be a performer.

Rule two : don’t talk too much.

You need to be very careful about what you say and clearly understand what consequences an information leak can have for those who work with it, and what kind of competition it can lead to.

Rule three - be kind, friendly and welcoming.

Your clients, clients, customers, colleagues or subordinates can find fault with you as much as they want, it doesn’t matter: you still have to behave politely, affably and kindly with them. Only a friendly attitude towards others will help you reach the top.

The basic rule of well-known companies is that the customer is always right.

They pay great attention to their prestige, value it, and the culture of their employees is very high.

Unfortunately, this principle is not observed by many Russian entrepreneurs. If in the offices of companies the atmosphere itself forces one to be kind and friendly, then in the service sector and in trade one can often find, if not rudeness, then a completely indifferent and sometimes dismissive attitude. At the same time, employees who tolerate such an attitude do not think about the harm and damage they cause to their business, to their company, and finally to themselves.

Rule four - think about others, not just yourself.

Rule five - dress appropriately.

The main principle here is: you need to fit into your environment at work, and within this environment - into the contingent of workers at your level. Whatever your role in the company, you need to dress with taste, choose colors that suit your face, choose the right accessories, in other words, look your best.

And finally,

Rule six -
speak and write in good language.
It is believed that those who can clearly express their thoughts have a great advantage. The inability to write and speak properly often sets a person back, and his other abilities may go to waste.

Although Russia does not have a specially developed system of business etiquette, the moral and ethical rules of professional conduct are clearly defined:

• honesty and reliability;

• obligation;

• stability;

• searching for a golden mean between competition and cooperation;

• the need to adhere to the norms of official subordination.

Table 20.1

Reasons for business failures

Failure rate, %Reason for failureExplanation
44IncompetenceInability to conduct business physically, mentally or intellectually
17Lack of management experienceLittle experience in managing employees and other resources before starting a business
16Unbalanced experienceLack of experience in marketing, finance, procurement and production
15Lack of industry experienceLittle experience in the production of this product or service before starting your own business
1NegligenceToo little attention to business due to bad habits, poor health or family difficulties
1Fraud or DisasterFraud: misleading name, false financial statements, deliberate over-purchasing or misallocation of assets. Disaster: fire, flood, burglary, employee fraud or strike (some disasters can be mitigated by insurance)

Formal and informal connections

In the business sphere, communications are classified according to the degree of formalization. Formal connections are established between people within groups created on the basis of certain documents. And informal connections are those that arise regardless of whether there are any documents to support them. Thus, a business or friendly connection can arise between the heads of partner organizations. And formal relations are established between the heads of branches, or, for example, between rectors of universities. But formal connections do not exclude the emergence of informal ones; they can coexist perfectly.

Ethics of relations between managers and subordinates

The relationship between management and core working personnel has a direct impact on the overall production and psychological atmosphere in the team. The higher quality and professional they are, the better commercial indicators the company can achieve in achieving its goals.

It is recommended to build effective relationships at the “manager-subordinate” level based on compliance with the following important principles:

  • creating working conditions that do not harm the health and human dignity of employees;
  • concern for improving the standard of living of workers, providing them with decent wages;
  • listening to the opinions of subordinates and responding to their suggestions;
  • guaranteeing equal rights for employees regardless of their age, gender, nationality and religious views;
  • ensuring labor protection to prevent accidents;
  • eliminating conflict situations and participating in collective meetings and negotiations.

Compliance with the ethics of business relations and business is an essential element in the formation of an overall idea of ​​​​the professionalism of any company.

Business communication tools

The most important tool of communication is human language. Within business relations, a formal business style of speech is used for interaction. It is distinguished by normalization, regulation, neutral tone of presentation, logic, brevity and unambiguity. There is also a set of non-verbal means that largely accompany business or friendly relationships. Mutual relationships are maintained through facial expressions, gestures, body position in space, visual contact, etc. Another tool for business communications is documents. In them, information is recorded on a tangible medium and allows you to legally secure relationships and agreements.


They are found everywhere. Examples of business and personal relationships accompany us constantly. The boss calls a subordinate to his office to talk about his promotion - this is the situation demonstrating the first case. Business relations are visible. This also includes the process of concluding a partnership or employment contract. Even a buyer in a store, communicating with a sales consultant, carries out a business relationship. Because their dialogue has a goal - the purchase and sale of goods. Each business contact leads to a specific result.

Personal relationships also have a purpose. But it is more sublime, since we are talking about the participants in such contact receiving joy from mutual communication. Two friends meet in the evening in a bar to discuss the events of recent days - this is a personal aspect. Just like communication between husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, parents and children.

Features of establishing business relationships

Communication in business takes place on mutually beneficial terms. Unlike friendships, establishing business connections always involves deriving some benefit from this communication. But this state of affairs is not perceived negatively as self-interest. Entrepreneurs understand that their communication can become an additional resource for their companies and therefore consciously enter into such relationships. To establish business connections, special events are organized, for example, industry exhibitions, conferences, forums, award ceremonies, etc. People who can be useful to each other are invited to these events. Businessmen and managers specially attend such events with the hope of finding new partners; such communication is called networking, i.e. activity to establish connections. A feature of the process of establishing business connections for a company is its duration and continuity; entrepreneurs have been developing connections for years, carefully protecting and maintaining them.

Features of business communication

The principles and forms of business communication form some of the features of this type of communication. They can always be used to distinguish business communication from personal communication. What are the main features of business communication in business?

  • An important element in business relationships is the reputation of partners. A businessman who loses it practically loses his entire business. Reputation does not fall from the sky, it is acquired over the years, so it is important for every person to value his name. If a leader really cares about his reputation, then he will never allow himself to do something that will desecrate it.

For example, an enterprise engaged in the production of dairy products must place the main emphasis on the high quality of its products, otherwise the company will lose its face.

  • In addition to reputation, business communication is based on the specificity and clarity of the problem statement. A manager should always set what goal needs to be achieved at a certain stage of business development. This will allow the entire company team to work accurately and harmoniously in the right direction.
  • The next feature is cooperation, in which all parties to the agreement benefit. Experienced businessmen know that the most profitable and lasting relationships are established when it is mutually beneficial to all parties to the transaction. Therefore, you should not worry only about your profit; sometimes you can receive a little less of it, but maintain a relationship with your partner. This way, you will make an investment in the future that will definitely bring you dividends in the future.

Areas of forming connections in business

But, in addition to special events, entrepreneurs use every opportunity to expand the company’s business connections. The main areas in which you can expand your circle of useful acquaintances are:

  • Circle of colleagues. Each person has their own social circles and this can be used to make new friends.
  • Partners. Each organization has its own circle of connections and you can also make it your own.
  • Place of study. It’s not for nothing that management experts say that building a career should begin while still studying. It is known that many classmates willingly support each other in conducting business.
  • Rest, leisure. It is no secret that many connections are made in an informal setting: in sanatoriums, fitness clubs, hobby clubs, resorts, everywhere you can find useful people who will subsequently help develop your business.

Resources for forming long-term business connections

In order to build effective business communication, it is necessary to use certain resources. These include the personal qualities of an entrepreneur: sociability, politeness, friendliness. All this facilitates the process of establishing and maintaining business connections. These resources also include initiative, the ability to establish contacts, curiosity, and openness. Also, resources for establishing connections are the ability to conduct a conversation, a broad outlook, and a willingness to help.

The role of feelings

All contacts are established on the basis of feelings towards others. They can be both positive and negative. First feelings are based on the external data of an acquaintance and only over time personal qualities and character traits are assessed.

factors can influence the distortion of feelings :

  • inability to distinguish true intentions from motivation;
  • the ability to objectively evaluate a new acquaintance;
  • determination of attitudes imposed independently or by society;
  • stereotypes;
  • forcing events, inability to fully understand a person;
  • not accepting other people's opinions.

Reputation and business connections

Well-established relationships in the business sphere are an indicator of the success of a businessman. But there is also a direct correlation between business connections and the reputation of the entrepreneur and the organization he represents. A person with a positive image, known as a professional in his field, will more easily find partners and acquaintances. Therefore, a businessman must not only strive to expand his social circle as much as possible, but also carefully protect his reputation by not getting involved with dubious individuals who could damage the image of the entrepreneur. A good reputation allows you to make acquaintances with respectable, influential people. Reputation also helps to attract the attention of government officials, investors, and promising partners. Therefore, in pursuit of new connections, an entrepreneur should not forget about his image and the reputation of the company.

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