We are in our careers for ourselves but not by ourselves. Those who yearn for success understand that they should form part of something larger than themselves. They connect with others for mutual benefit. I agree with Robin Sharma as he puts it that “business of business is relations; the business of life is human connection”. If you don’t believe that, try going to the moon on your own and tell us how you did on your return, that is if you make it.
No matter your stage of career, you will need to nurture the following relationships for your benefit, that of others and for your organisation:
- Look up to your leader
By definition, a leader should be someone who looks for productive, hardworking employees. They need loyalty and commitment from their direct reports. This is a vital relationship you need, not only because the leader has a say in your promotion or pay raise. Develop healthy and cordial relationships predicated on common goals and purpose for the greater good of the organisation. Pursuing favouritism and backstabbing others for the leader’s attention is sucking up and within no time it will blow in your face.
2. Hold hands with your peers
Your peers need you as much as you need them to meet your goals. You need to collaborate for the success of the department and ultimately the company. Building collaborative relationships starts by acknowledging that you’re not the centre of attraction. I previously coached a team where one of the members demanded special attention because he regarded himself more important than the rest of his mates because of his past international assignment. Ordinarily, the other members retaliated by isolating him. Collaboration is about giving up control and creating a value system that encourages respect between peers.
- Your team members will pull you up
I strongly believe that the value of each leader is demonstrated by the quality of leaders they produce. Naming conversions and hierarchies aside, value is derived when leaders assume an “equal to place” in relation to their direct reports. This is far from a position of power, it is relating at a human level; not above or below their direct reports. This is a relationship based on trust, where a leader champions the interest of his or her team and provide information and support.
- Respect both internal and external customers
The biggest mistake you can make is to assume that external clients are more important than internal customers or vice versa. Poor communication or lack of coordination internally has serious repercussions to the external clients. Focusing only on external clients because they buy products will cause misalignment and consternation internally. Invest time and effort to understand all your customers for mutual benefit. Striking a healthy balance helps to understand the person in the process, builds revenue streams, encourages repeat business, increase chances of referrals and enhances the reputation of your business.
Your relationships will flourish if they are founded on building healthy, mutual and long lasting benefits with others. Pursuing a transactional relationship where parties are in it for themselves or expect a benefit all the time, is bound to create consternation and short term gains.
Think Big, Dream Wild & Prosper
Tex Hlalele is a life & business coach and inspirational speaker. Book coaching and speaking engagements at http://www.dreamsmadepossible.co.za/
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