Every once in a while, a business relationship goes sour. It sucks, but it happens. As usual, it’s probably nobody’s fault specifically, but a combination of things that over time doesn’t work—and no party is working hard enough to try and make it work.

A few times in my eleven years in the business, someone has come along and tried to force me to take on their project. I have always found this fascinating. If you say no, how is an angry tone supposed to convince me?

Why am I sharing this you wonder? Because it leads me directly to the most important factor in a business relationship. Or rather the two most important factors: Trust and joy/appreciation.

Both are interlinked. Just like any other relationship, in order for a business relationship to thrive, you need trust. If you don’t trust the other party to do their job, and a good job at that, it’s going to go south quick. Likewise, if you want to micromanage them, it’s a sign that you believe you know better. And that’s not a sign of trust, and it is going to cause the relationship to deteriorate quickly. It’s bad.

Joy and appreciation are also important. You need to be happy with the people you do business with. You need to appreciate them being there and be in a good mood when you are with them. If exchanges drain you of energy, it’s not a good sign. Consequently, if you don’t appreciate the person you do business with, you won’t be putting in any effort.

When we trust and appreciate each other and are happy together, we create an environment which fosters positive collaboration. We will go to great lengths to ensure that the other party is happy and satisfied, and they will do the same back. That’s a happy business relationship.