A relationship checklist for your career? What does that mean?!
Relationships are a critical tool for business success. People will either support you, ignore you or in some cases, sabotage you. You can take charge of that and manage your business relationships in a way that serves you, the people you rely on and ultimately, your organization.
Here is a checklist of considerations that could contribute to enhancing your relationships in 2018:
For your benefit think of:
- Projects you will be working on
- Tasks you need help on
- Areas of expertise you would like to learn
- Career advancement
- Personal development
In all these situations:
- Identify what your desired outcomes are
- Identify people in your organization who can provide guidance or advice
- Approach them individually, explain what you are working toward and ask if they would be willing to give you some additional perspective/ideas/advice
- Have a thoughtful discussion, probing their ideas further and acknowledging their perspective
- Follow up with a thank you message and indicate how they helped you
- Keep them posted on your progress and results and remind them of their contribution to your results
For the benefit of those you work with:
- Look for others who could use a friend – a new employee, someone who seems to be alone – make an effort to connect, have a coffee together, sit with them at lunch, invite them to go out for lunch or a break
- Look for others who may be struggling with a task or project; they may be overwhelmed or appear stressed. Initiate a conversation by asking what they are working on, how is it going, what they like/don’t like about it, and if they would like additional support. Even if they say no, it’s nice to let them know you are there if they need help.
- Get curious and show a genuine interest in someone else’s work.
- Look for opportunities to recognize someone else’s accomplishments – directly with them and also with other people who work with them.
I always ask, “What is the legacy I want to leave behind?” People will respond with, “I want to be known for______________________”
- making a difference in people’s lives
- my contribution to our company
- being someone who cared about others
- being respectful of everyone
- being a hard worker
- helping others be successful
- being a good team member
Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, we all have a role to play in helping to manage others’ perspectives of us. People can’t read our minds to help us achieve what we strive for.
They won’t want to support us if we are dismissive of them.
I’ve seen it time after time; people leave their company because of conflicts with their boss or coworkers. Then they have a chance to get into another organization years later, and the person they had friction with is now at that new company, and they give a bad reference.
Suppliers, contractors, customers, co-workers, managers and many other categories of people with whom we work constitute the network with which you can have a good working relationship. Being positive, not engaging in gossip and avoiding criticizing others or judging them openly in anyway will make a big difference.
How can you genuinely influence your relationships at work in 2018?