Making genuine work connections can be hard for some people. Whether you were good at it in your early school days or not, building relationships in the world of work can be rather challenging, especially in the VUCA world!
Whether you’re starting a new role, building a team, networking, building a client base or partnering with internal and external vendors and stakeholders, there is value in taking a step back to look at the reasons why you need the relationship and how you can reciprocate for the other person. Moreover, taking an approach of hospitality; understanding how you service others and are a brand ambassador for your services will help to propel this process forward.
Whether you are working in a remote, virtual, hybrid or flexible work arrangement, keep the following things in mind when engaging in new relationship-building activities:
1. Be Intentional – but also be genuine, not forceful. If you don’t have the luxury of bumping into someone at the water cooler, book some time to get to know them and to discuss projects or opportunities. If you need an introduction, have a shared connection make it happen via email. And when others approach you to meet and explore opportunities, make yourself available as well. Take it slow at first and focus on building the connection first, then focus on the project, work, or task at hand.
2. Think of the win-win – What is your shared ground? How are your roles independent? Do some tasks flow in? What is your ability to influence others? Taking a service approach with this task will also help you to understand how you can serve others and how others can serve you.
3. Be clear about follow-up – Follow through, or it will erode trust. Make this visible and keep yourself accountable with regular communication. Consider what things are going to move the relationship forward.
4. Learn more about your partner – What are their strengths? What are their passions? What is their work style? What are their aspirations? Be sure to make note and adjust your style appropriately. Consider what you want to share and how you want to be supported.
Source: 90 Day Guide for Success, Jennifer Britton, Page 59.
Once you have a solid connection and have some fundamentals in motion, you’re well on your way to making some great work happen! Keep in mind always that you are a brand ambassador and a service provider and that those two roles, regardless of where or how you work, will keep your actions and reactions in check.
If you’re a leader or coach currently at the beginning stages of building your business and need some resources or advisement, feel free to book a free 15-minute consultation and we can point you in the right direction.
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