It goes without saying that success in your professional life, as well as your everyday life, comes down to whom you know not what you know.

Creating a network of meaningful relationships is paramount in becoming successful.

However, the reality is growing a network like this takes work and dedication. The key is developing meaningful relationships.

To help you grow a network like this, here are four habits to help you build and have long standing relationships that’ll help you find success.

Show Generosity

The best relationships are built on each member having the desire to bring value to the other person. When each person is more focused on giving than receiving, a bond is created. This bond is created from the mutual trust that each person wants the best for the other.

You can show generosity to a person in a number of ways. You can introduce them to that important person in your company, offer them career advice, or offer your expertise on something they’re not familiar with. The idea is to make the other person become better.

Be a Good Listener

Everyone has the desire to have their voice be heard. This is why listening is at the center of any meaningful relationship.

To be a good listener you must show genuine interest in the person and their ideas, and as all of us know, when listening to someone it can be easy to get distracted. This is why developing  self-awareness and noticing when moments like this arise is important.

The key to being a good listener is being actively engaged in conversation.

Treat Others as You Would Want to Be Treated

As you probably already know, in your career and in life your reputation matters. Building a positive relationship takes time and commitment, and it is very important to building meaningful relationships.

The quickest and best way to building a solid reputation is treating others how you would want to be treated. It is something we have been told since we were children, but it is surprising how many people forget this. Practicing something as simple as this will do wonders for your reputation and, therefore, enable you to build long-lasting, meaningful relationships.

Focus on a Few Quality Relationships

When people think about building their network, they can sometimes automatically think they need to have relationships with as many people as possible. However, when doing this your efforts get spread thin and in return you have many (not meaningful) relationships.

Instead, focus on fostering a few important relationships. By doing this, each one will be meaningful and you will be able to get more out of them than you would with many.

Meaningful relationships are created with effort, honesty and generosity. It can take time to develop them, but it will be a little easier with these four habits. Soon enough you’ll be building a network that greatly benefits your professional success.