In every job there will always be aspects of developing strong working relationships either internally, externally or both. Getting it right will be essential to your success, as our friends at Renovo explain...
Aim to create a positive first impression through proactively planning and mapping out your potential interactions. Make a list of who the key stakeholders are, think about how you want to interact with them and what they will expect from you in your new role.
To be successful in your role it is important you take time to understand this and plan how you want to build a bond with them. You may want to consider their strengths, preferred working style and identify commonality to build rapport.
From your list start shortlisting, and prioritise who are the 3 main stakeholders you want to focus on first. Ask yourself the following:
• What will be the nature of your relationship with these stakeholders?
• What are your stakeholder’s business objectives, values, and needs?
• Are there possible barriers or challenges you may face in gaining commitment and support?
If you are taking over from someone in the business, use your handover/induction process to research your stakeholders further.
Building trust from your first interaction will create the foundation of this relationship. A key aspect of this is reliability, so ensure you do what you say you will do. By creating trust early on in your relationship the stakeholder will most likely be open and honest in their interactions with you. In turn they will value your ideas and suggestions.
It is quite likely at times your stakeholder’s opinions and expectations will differ from yours. There could also be times where you may need to compromise. Take time to consider their ideas and opinions and take this into consideration when presenting them with factual information or key decision making.
Now you have formed a positive first impression of being trustworthy and reliable, communication is essential in order to build and maintain relationships. Once you have started to form relationships try and identify you stakeholder’s preferred method of communication, so be attentive. Have you noticed how your stakeholders interact with you? Do they call, SKYPE, email or prefer face to face interactions?
Adapt your personality and working style to match theirs. If they are in a senior position they may prefer headline information with facts and figures; attention to detail could be important to them.
Let them know that you are listening to what they are saying by acknowledging certain points they are making. Additionally you can gain respect from your stakeholders by proactively resolving issues in a resourceful way. If you are proactive in your approach you are promoting a can-do attitude.
Building effective relationships takes time and effort. However, long lasting relationships will not only impact your career success but can increase work productivity, job satisfaction and business profitability.
About The Author
Renovo is one of the UK’s leading providers of outplacement and career transition support, working with both organisations. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you please visit www.renovo.uk.com