Want to Progress?

Build Key Relationships

As leaders progress up the executive ladder, their ability to build effective relationships becomes much more important to their success.

There is a delicate balance to be struck between being viewed as successful based on your experience as well as your ability to connect with people. When this becomes unbalanced on either side of the equation, the results can be very negative.

To build relationships with depth, start with sincerity and a genuine interest in people. Since most executives have limited time, it is important to identify the individuals where these solid relationships are important. For executives, I refer to this as their "stakeholder list". This could be anyone who will have great influence on the success or failure of the executive.

To Increase a relationship with another individual, consciously move it along that corridor from stranger toward friend. I'm not saying you have to reach the ultimate goal of friendship but you do have to keep moving the relationship forward.

When you move the relationship forward you affect what I call "the filter". The filter is how that person sees you. When there is a relationship on some level, that filter tends to be very positive. What does that mean to you? The other individual tends to let in only things that support that favorable impression. On the flipside, if that filter is negative, it tends to only let in negative information. A simple analogy could be the following: Who would you fire first: a stranger or a friend? Who would you hire first: a stranger or friend?

Some useful tactics to enhance relationships:

  • Sincerity
  • Be a listener with enthusiasm
  • Find connecting points – common interests, experiences, etc
  • Find their passion – what are the things that excite and motivate them?
  • Consistency- keep a predictable tempo to the relationship
  • Caring
  • See the world from their perspective
  • Find ways to help
  • Be proactive about the relationship

To be successful, work to strengthen key stakeholder relationships.

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