Whatever you are, whatever you do, if you can build healthy professional relationships, you will stand out as an impressive member of your organization. You may be newly qualified and in your first job, have recently started a new job in a more senior position or be well on your way up the ladder in your career progression. Whatever your situation, you will find things work more easily if you can get along with other people. To do this, it helps to know a little about what type of person you are.
If you hold a supervisory or management position you will need to be in control, not only of yourself, but also able to manage your staff and deal with a number of other stakeholders. Being an effective networker isn’t something that happens by accident. This chapter deals with some of the points you should consider about yourself, before moving on to building relationships with others in the workplace.
A bit of self-management
Climbing the slippery pole in any profession is not easy. There is much hard work ahead of you and you will spend many hours in the workplace. Wouldn’t it be nice if the majority of that time was enjoyable? While this cannot be guaranteed, you can take some steps toward making sure that your job is closer to a dream than a nightmare. Here are a few points to consider.
Making the right impression
If you’re a new employee or have recently acquired a new job because of your skills, experience or ability, try not to give out too much information about yourself in the beginning. You will learn far more by saying less. Best advice is to keep quiet and listen. Smile and let others do the talking (to you). You might try to figure out the office hierarchy by observation. It certainly won’t be the same as is shown on the organizational chart. Read anything and everything you can lay your hands on in the early days, should time permit. When joining a team, treat everyone equally unless there is a clear leader of the group. If you are given the opportunity to have extra training, accept it. Everything you learn is going to come in useful one way or another.
Self-management and being effective
No serious professional ever strives to be ineffective. But why are some people considered effective and command respect and loyalty, while others are not? Being effective isn’t just about being organized, or self-disciplined. Nor is it about getting your team to deliver projects on time and within budget – even if those are elements of your work on which you can be judged. An effective person is highly motivated and keeps the broader picture in mind while inspiring colleagues and employees to excel in their work
Getting the best out of feedback
Why not try a bit of informal feedback through the team and departments you are working with? You may be encouraged by what you hear. If the results are a bit negative, don’t worry. Have a look at the words in the left-hand column below. Are any of these (or similar) likely to describe you? If so, you may need to work towards being more like the words in the right-hand column. That encompasses positive attributes. The more ticks you get in the right-hand column, the better. For future reference, when trying to establish rapport with other people, it is harder if negative behavior is the norm.