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40 Examples of Professional Relationships

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A professional relationship is a sustained series of social interactions between two or more people related to a profession, business or organizational role. This can include team relationships between people who work for the same firm such as coworkers and business relationships with external stakeholders such as regulators, customers, partners and investors. The following are illustrative examples of a professional relationship.
Agent-Client
Auditors
Board Members
Boss
Clients
Coworkers
Customer Service Representatives
Customers
Direct Reports
Doctor-Patient
Employee-Contractor
Executives-Employees
Executives-Executives
Indirect Reports
Industry Connections
Instructor-Student
Internal Stakeholders
Investors
Job Candidates
Lawyer-Client
Manager-Contractor
Manager-Employee
Media Representatives
Mentor-Protege
Professor-Professor
Professor-Student
Project Members
Project Stakeholders
Prospective Customers
Recruiters
Regulators / Government Representatives
Sales Representatives
Supervisor-Employee
Suppliers
Teacher-Parent
Teacher-Principle
Teacher-Student
Teacher-Teacher
Vendors
Work Friends

Professional Norms

Professional norms apply to professional relationships. These may be very different from norms that apply to other types of social relationships, particularly personal relationships. For example, it may be considered unacceptable to talk about certain aspects of your personal life in front of customers.

Relational Capital

Relational capital is a relationship that may have future value. For example, a salesperson who knows everyone in an industry such that they can easily initiate sales talks with prospective customers.

Negative Relational Capital

In many cases, intensive office politics and other professional conflict or tension can generate negative relational capital. For example, an employee who has a bad experience working at your company who is then hired by one of your largest customers. This individual may be unlikely to support decisions to purchase more of your products such that your relationship with them could have negative value.
Overview: Professional Relationships
Type
Definition
A sustained series of social interactions between two or more people related to a profession, business or organizational role.
Related Concepts

Professionalism

This is the complete list of articles we have written about professionalism.
Candor
Competence
Culture
Employee Feedback
Eye Contact
Key Strengths
Motivation
Norms
Personal Leadership
Productivity
Professional Accomplishments
Professional Attributes
Professional Ethics
Professional Self
Professional Values
Professionalism
Relationships
Risk Management
Self-Direction
Society
Talent
Time Management
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