To get ahead in your career, it is imperative that your peers vouch for you.
By now, I am sure; you are wondering what I am talking about. But then imagine one of your colleagues travels with your boss for some work outside of the office. Your boss brings up something that has to do with you. Your boss says you have done a superb job.
But then your colleague has a different take on that and shares his/her perspective. And, this forces this your boss to rethink on the impression s/he has about you.
Believe it or not, your colleagues play a vital role in your career growth.
So today’s challenge is about ensuring that your peers vouch for you.
What is a great relationship?
First things first, let’s understand what a great relationship really is. The basis of a great relationship with your colleagues are the five crucial factors including–
#1 Conversation, not completion–You are your own competition and not your colleagues. Difficult to follow because right from childhood you have been compared with others. As a result, you always thought the person next to you is your competition. Well, in the actual world, it is in fact the exact opposite. The person you get to see in the mirror is your competition. No one else. So conversations are the foundation stones of great relationships at work, not a competition (however healthy it might be)!
#2 Trust, not skepticism–Scepticism will lead you nowhere. I agree, most of us have been attuned to doubt first until the other person doesn’t gain our trust; but so is the other person. The best way you can allow your colleagues to trust you is to trust them. You start and things will fall in place.
#3 Respect, not contempt–With trust comes respect. Working together in teams is a must. Contempt hampers not just productivity, but everything else around. When you respect your colleagues, you value their inputs. This results in solutions that are creative and better, thus having a large impact on productivity.
#4 Openness, not prejudice–It is natural to be more inclined to colleagues who share the same views. But diversity is the key to growth. Being open to embrace diversity gives you a fresh perspective. When taken that into consideration, you are bound to come up with a better version of whatever you are trying to do. This openness should not just be limited to embrace just the diversity of thoughts. It should extend to everything–religion, caste, creed, or whatever else.
#5 Feedback, not backbiting–You may not like something about your colleagues–their behavior, approach, or whatever else it may be. Walk over to the person and talk about it rather than backbiting, gossiping, and spreading rumors. If you do so your colleagues will do the same with you.
How to build great relationships at work?
Now that you are clear of the five crucial factors that we base great relationships on, here are 3 idiot-proof steps you can follow so that eventually your peers/colleagues will vouch for you –
(You can download a worksheet here to follow along)
First, State your relationship goals.
What is it you really, really want from your colleagues at work? Should they help you at work? Should they be your besties? Should they help you improve at what you do? What is it you really want?
State all the expectations.
Also, state whether you are looking for great relationships or just good ones. Be explicit.
Remember, whatever you do in the next step depends on how clear you are at this step. So even if it takes longer, spend time to reflect and be clear at this step.
Second, think of what will help you achieve those goals.
What will you have to do, so you build the relationships which eventually help you achieve what you want?
Interpersonal Communication Skills – What can you do to develop them?
Time Dedication–How much time will you have to invest every day?
Boundaries–Where do you want to draw the boundaries?
List down all that you can think of.
Last, follow the plan religiously.
Think of what will get you started? How will you make the time you have thought about it? How will you know you are progressing in the direction you have been wanting to?
Keep a log of all that you do. That is the best way to track progress and propel you to take action.
Jot down the small actions you took. And the result of the action. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Keep it short E.g. Appreciated Amit (action)–smiled, helped me with planning (result)
Adding it up,
As much as you need to influence your boss, you need to influence your colleagues to an extent where they vouch for you. Building great relationships at work is great for influencing them and ensuring they help you achieve career breakthroughs.