We’ve all been there, at a networking event where someone rapidly asks what we do and then looks to get away as quickly as possible when we are clearly of no interest or use to them. It doesn’t feel pleasant does it? How might we then react if that same person came back to us later and asked for our help, say to be connected to someone we know? Probably not in the most positive way!
I had the same recently; someone had asked one of my connections if they knew someone that did what I do. I was happy to be connected and listen to how I might be able to help.
The sad thing is, although the person was very polite when I called them, they made very little effort to build a relationship with me and the person wasn’t looking to offer me anything, they wanted something entirely from me! The politeness therefore came across as a box ticker to get to the conversation they really wanted to have – not genuine.
This person didn’t ask me anything about me, my business or how I help clients, except the functional question they wanted answered. This question was about whether I ever had any clients that had a need for their services! They were asking for access to my clients/referrals. Now typically I don’t really have clients in need of that service, but would I now go out of my way to refer people if I do come across them? Unlikely!
Building a relationship with people is really important in professional life, you will find people engage with you a lot more readily when you’ve made this effort and work issues will get more easily resolved. It might sound simple, but so many people fail to build relationships and therefore don’t get the support they need at work which helps performance. Some simple tips for building relationships at work:
- Be human – talk about topics other than work. We all have journeys to work, weekends and of course weather.
- Remember what someone has said to you before and ask about it, if appropriate. They will feel valued because you remembered.
- Listen out for hooks, if people mention something in conversation; ask about it to show interest, keep the conversation going and to build the relationship.
- Be consistent in how you interact with someone; think about what you want to be known for (personal brand).
- Proactively consider how you can help and support that person.
Doing these things not only makes work more productive but more pleasurable too. So, which relationships do you need to work harder at? It doesn’t have to take up a lot of time; simple steps can have big effects.
If you want help to look at how you can confidently and genuinely build better relationships at work, contact us to see how we can help [email protected].
Image courtesy of freeimages.com/ValerieLike