relationships

Do You Have Strong Peer Relationships?

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The importance of peer relationships keeps emerging as a theme with my clients. Strong leaders recognize that their leadership must extend beyond managing up and down; they must also manage effectively across the organization. Although it may not be on your radar screen, peers play an important role in providing perspective on your performance, no matter how far removed they may be from your do day-to-day activities.

Even if you don’t need much of your peers’ involvement to achieve your business results, most companies expect you to care about and invest in their success. An investment in your peers demonstrates your willingness to go beyond what matters in your microcosm of the world, to think about how you can make a difference in other parts of the company.

Ask yourself the following questions to quickly assess your peer relationships:

1. How well do you know your peers?

Using a scale of 1-10 (with 10 the highest), rate the strength of your relationship with each peer. Do you know what challenges your peers face, pressures they feel, or what goals are most critical to them? Based on this information and the strength of your relationship, with whom should you invest more time?

2. What do your peers think of you?

Do your peers view you as someone who is willing to give them support? To quickly assess this, think about how much time you spend listening, problem- solving, or brainstorming with your peers and the degree to which you think beyond your scope of responsibility.

3. What value can you offer to your peers?

As you consider your strengths, background, and experience, how can you leverage them for your peers? What can you offer in the context of what matters to them? If you don’t know enough about their priorities, find out.

As you contemplate your responses to the questions above, identify one peer relationship that you would like to strengthen in the next six months. Come up with a small step you will take this week to get the ball rolling, and remember that small steps can lead to big results

 

© 2013 Neena Newberry | All rights reserved.

Are You Being Strategic About Relationships?

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I get asked all the time about how to build a strong network of advocates. Advocates are people with power and influence who can give you important exposure, shield you from negative consequences and criticism, and recommend you for new positions or visible assignments.

If you aren’t paying attention to building these relationships, here are three steps to help you be more strategic about your approach:

1. With whom do you want to cultivate relationships?

In the context of your professional goals, identify the top three people with whom you need to develop stronger relationships. They may be people you don’t know at all or individuals who have had some exposure to you. Often they can be people who already have a positive impression of you, but you haven’t asked them to take any action on your behalf in the past. Be specific about what you would want them to do on your behalf and make it easy for them to do so. Come prepared with the right information.

2. What would success look like for your next conversation with them?

What would you want to have as the outcome of that conversation? How do you want to “show up”? In other words, think about any aspects of your brand that you’d want to focus on or what you would want them to know about you. Think about not only your key strengths, but also experiences and results. For example, if you want to come across as competent, you can do that through the quality and caliber of the questions you ask in addition to the types of examples you share about the work you’ve done. Figure out what approach works best for you.

3. What can you offer them?

Offer them something of value. For example, you might be able to share articles or other resources relevant to their interests or specific challenges they’re facing. You may have contacts with similar interests who might be beneficial for them to know. You may be able to give them exposure by inviting them to speak or be on a panel in a professional association that you participate in. Or you may be able to invite them to an event that would be of interest to them.

One of the most important things to remember is to be consistent. Allocate time to cultivate these relationships each month. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming. The key is to stay top of mind so that when opportunities do arise they will think of you. So, what step will you take this week to put this into play? Remember that small steps can lead to big results.

 

© 2012 Neena Newberry | All rights reserved.