The Top 10 Things a BRM is Not

OpinionPosted | Category: BRM Capability, BRM Philosophy, Business Relationship Management Research | Contributed


“It’s just as important to know what you don’t want to do as what you do want to do.”

This life advice is often shared with young adults searching for what they want to be when they “grow up.”

The truth is, regardless of age many people are still trying to figure out how they want to make a difference. Very few people know exactly how they want to spend their lives, and even they will be on vastly different paths ten years from now.

Understandably, most people just make their best guess based on personal experience.

Luckily, as a Business Relationship Manager (BRM), you’ve identified you want to help. You are passionate about building a brighter future through trust and authentic relationships. However, you may be struggling to balance your role responsibilities with expectations from yourself and others.

Take a look at 10 examples of what a BRM is not in order to avoid pitfalls and roadblocks to advancing your BRM role.

A BRM is not selfish.

A BRM exists to help others. Everything you do should be in the interest of helping others achieve their ambitions. Naturally, building relationships to help others will, in turn, help you as well. Acting selflessly brings mutual growth.

Remember: It’s still important to take time to restore energy and care for your well-being.

A BRM is not a single point of contact.

Rather, a BRM can act as a leader who connects, orchestrates, and navigates people to those with relevant knowledge and expertise. Your ability to build relationships means you can leverage your network to help people interact. Naturally, these interactions lead to authentic connections that free up your time and energy.

Remember: Sometimes you can help the most by connecting people.

A BRM is not tactical or strategic.

A BRM is both. Tactically, if you aren’t willing to solve problems on the ground, you will never be able to empathize with your partners. Likewise, your energies should not all be directed towards solving tactical problems. A great BRM gains experience with daily operations and uses that to direct their high-level strategic decisions.

Remember: It’s all about balance.

A BRM is not a loner.

No person is an island. There is strength in numbers. We are better together. Whatever way you put it, a true BRM succeeds by building strong leaders around them and working together to create solutions.

Remember: Community and belonging shape progress.

A BRM is not VIP Support for operational issues.

While you may help solve operational issues selectively, it’s not your responsibility to tackle every problem alone. Therefore, use your unique strength as a relationship navigator to connect your partners with the best person for the job.

Remember: You are human. It’s okay to lean on others for support.

A BRM is not the Project Manager.

Although BRMs stimulate, shape and surface demand, they should not be responsible for implementing the solutions or managing project plans. Instead, a great BRM lets the PM and other leaders orchestrate projects, helping out when needed.

Remember: Trust in your partners and teammates. They will not let you down.

A BRM is not defensive.

Too often, BRMs find themselves reacting defensively when leadership doesn’t understand them. Instead, act with strength and confidence in your ability to teach. Own up to mistakes. Share your relationship expertise. And move forward together with shared ownership.

Remember: Remind yourself and your partners that you share the same purpose.

A BRM is not an order taker.

At your highest BRM self, you are a strategic partner with leadership. Even if you aren’t yet a strategic partner, adopt this mindset today. Reach your potential by reminding others that you are here to help them succeed strategically, not to take care of their undesirable projects.

Remember: Remain humble and patient. Build trust by focusing on high-quality output.

A BRM is not fearful.

In fact, a BRM is fear-LESS because you have the immutable trust of your teammates and partners. This support system will catch you when you make mistakes and build you up when you fail. Hence, act without fear to voraciously evolve problems into solutions.

Remember: The master has failed more times than the beginner has ever tried.

A BRM is not behind closed doors.

Your career trajectory depends on your ability to build relationships. Use it to your benefit by cultivating relationships every day. Talk to someone new at lunch, take your team out to coffee, or simply ask your leadership what’s on their mind. The more authentic relationships you cultivate, the healthier and happier you will be.

Remember: Asking people about themselves is an easy way to build a relationship.

Bonus Tip: A BRM is not alone!

No matter how you may feel, you are never alone in your role. Even if you are the sole BRM in your organization, you have a worldwide network of caring, supportive people who want to see you succeed. Become a part of the global community to optimize your potential and find your home.


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