Why relationship building is vital to finance leaders
Relationships and collaborative working are key to the success of the finance function overall and to the career of any finance professional.
For this reason, finance leaders who build productive and lasting relationships are likely to build successful finance teams and successful careers. This applies to both internal and external relationships.
The importance of internal relationships
The simple fact is that the only way a business fully benefits from the expertise and skills of finance professionals is if internal relationships are developed and nurtured. This is because these relationships help to enable the development of finance-related skills throughout other disciplines. This includes skills such as:
- Commercial understanding.
- Benefit analysis.
- Opportunity cost experience.
- Budgeting and forecasting.
As well as spreading this type of expertise, strong internal relationships developed by finance leaders also help them to become an integral and valued part of the organisation rather than simply being seen as someone who “crunches the numbers”.
The importance of external relationships
For many external stakeholders, the finance function is the face of a business. For this reason, good finance leaders create strong and long-lasting external relationships.
These relationships are created with a wide range of professionals including auditors, tax professionals, investors and management consultants. Creating and enhancing these relationships enables the best finance professionals to establish a culture of trust and transparency.
How relationships help with building a successful finance career
Relationships are not only essential to enhancing the finance function in an organisation, they also help finance leaders to develop advantageous career paths.
For example, professionals who possess powerful networking skills create bridges with valuable contacts across functions thereby expanding their range of opportunities.
Even the most experienced finance leaders also recognise the development of relationships as a valuable learning opportunity. Creating a diverse network gives individuals access to valuable insight and opinions.
How the best finance leaders create and utilise relationships
Given the importance of relationships to finance leaders, the top professionals use several best practices to create and use advantageous relationships.
These best practices include.
- Building relationships early in a career as many of the best relationships take time to fully develop. Creating relationships at this point also means that professionals can grow along with their connections and develop strong and long-lasting relationships.
- Developing relationships that can help to ‘plug’ knowledge gaps. This is a far better investment of time than creating relationships with people who have nothing new to add.
- Concentrating on the quality rather than the number of relationships that are created. A smaller network that has real value is a better option than a large network where value is limited.
- Being aware of the long term. The best networkers take time to create relationships that are long-term and based on trust rather than superficial connections.
It’s clear that the highest performing finance leaders realise the importance of building relationships inside and outside an organisation and throughout their careers. They use these relationships to raise the profile of the finance function within the business and with stakeholders. They also develop valuable and influential networks that can help them create a successful career path.
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Date Posted: August 21st 2020
Posted By: Stuart Clark