As a powerhouse Senior Sales Executive, Talia has extensive experience in business development, product category management, and corporate strategy. She’s a maestro of premium/luxury brands, with a proven record of skyrocketing growth and vast sales and marketing know-how.
Building strong and resilient relationships is an art and a science, something that our guest expert, Talia Bruno, excels at. In this post, we will delve into her top 5 powerful strategies to boost your relationship-building skills.
From Immigrant Roots to Eyecare Industry
Talia Bruno’s Background and Journey
Dr. Darryl Glover: Talia, I know I gave a bit of an overview of who you are. But if you don’t mind maybe sharing more about your background. I feel like I already know everything about you, but I want you to speak so I don’t have to keep running my mouth here. So if you don’t mind sharing, you know, maybe where you’re from and how you got into the eyecare industry.
Talia Bruno: I’m a daughter to immigrant parents. My parents actually came here in the late seventies. They were in their late twenties. They were not educated here in the United States and they didn’t have much of an education from where they came from as well. They lived the American dream, all about the American opportunity. They came here to provide opportunity for us.
I grew up in the inner city of Brooklyn, New York, in Sunset Park till I was about 11 years old. Watched my parents work two jobs, grew up in a really rough neighborhood, but my parents did a really good job of keeping us close as a family and protecting us.
I didn’t realize I was poor either until I would visit other people’s house. Then I’m like, oh, ok. Wow. You know, but still, I grew up happy. I didn’t have much, but I grew up really happy. As I got older and you become cognizant of that, that’s when you start to get these insecurities and not only that, people along your journey point that out.
Building Trust and Embracing Vulnerability: Fostering Resilient Relationships and the Role of Mentorship
Dr. Darryl Glover: I want to get into this relationship building with you because, I feel like you have mastered that, and I think it’s because of the journey that you just touched on and it’s really opened up the doors to a lot of opportunities for you. I’ve watched your career, I’ve looked at your career, I’ve studied you on LinkedIn and I’ve seen that you’ve jumped through different stages in your career with different companies and made an impact to where you’re at today.
I would really like to discuss, how do you build resilient relationships. Maybe you can start from the top and give us some tips and guidance, because relationship building is everything in Eyecare. It’s everything in life. If you don’t make that connection with that person in front of you, how can you truly find the right solution?
So maybe if you could start off with the relationship building, how you were able to build that with your career. I think, whether you’re in the workplace or you’re even evaluating your own life, what really matters is trust. If you don’t have trust, then you’re not going to build a resilient relationship.
Talia Bruno: Trust is a critical part of all interactions that we have as humans. It plays an integral role in communicating in all aspects of our life, especially in the workplace, which is what you’re referencing. So I would say through trust and regarding how to build a resilient relationship, trust is going to be the number one.
Embracing Vulnerability: The Power of Honesty and Emotional Openness in Building Trust
Talia Bruno: I think it’s really, you know, something that I did recently, which was very vulnerable. I chose the route of vulnerability. And I was very vulnerable with my peers in sharing my story, which for the longest time, I didn’t want people to know that I came from where I came from, because for a little bit, I didn’t embrace it.
It was a time in my life where I thought it was a bit embarrassing because I was trying to get to a certain level. Now it’s, I have a different mindset, but I believe being vulnerable. Being vulnerable can even be, you know, especially at work, you have to admit when you’re wrong, and that’s an act of vulnerability when you do that.
People don’t like to hear excuses in our industry, so if you do something wrong or your company did something wrong, you have to be upfront and you need to tackle it before the customer or colleague or acquaintance finds out. If you realize that you’re incorrect about something, I think owning up to it is big and that’s really a part of vulnerability.
And there’s also the other part of vulnerability, which is being open about your emotion and showing some feelings because that helps build trust as well with whoever you’re absolutely interacting with, it shows that you care about the other person.
Mentorship’s Role in Success
Dr. Darryl Glover: I think when it comes to relationship building, having the right mentors helps to elevate relationship building. So maybe if you could touch on, you know, the importance of mentorship and maybe even some of the things that she helped mentor you in as well.
Talia Bruno: First of all, Sue and I go way back. She was one of the first accounts that I managed when I joined the optical industry back in 2008. She was the real deal then too.The mentors I’ve had have been truly amazing. Even listening to me, there were times where I would text Sue and ask if I could get like five minutes. She always made herself available. She was so calm in giving that advice that she calmed me down as well if I felt my mind running a mile a minute. That’s really the importance of having a mentor and even choosing a mentor that can relate with you.Because if you look at the other two mentors I mentioned – Jan Corey and Megan Maloney – both are working mothers. This is what works for me. I need someone who can truly understand what I’m going through, trying to raise small children while managing a career. Each of these women had more than one child, and I have three. They can relate to my situation.
Embracing Risks and Self-Love: Talia Bruno’s Piece of Advice for Success
Dr. Darryl Glover: What would it be if you could leave one piece of advice for all the listeners and followers out there?
Talia Bruno: I say this even to my own children. When it feels scary to jump, that’s when you jump. If you stay in the same place your whole life, you’re not taking the right risks. You’re not going to fail. Don’t be afraid of losing or afraid of failure, because a true loser is just someone that’s so afraid of not winning that they don’t even try.
Believe in yourself. Trust yourself. Most importantly, love yourself. Everything we discussed in today’s podcast, building relationships and trust, will come naturally provided you love, respect, and are honest with yourself first.
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