Mary Alice asked, “How many people here would say, on a scale of 1-5, ‘I am the queen of strategic relationships and networking?” There were not many 5s and this is typical.
Why are relationships important? They can move you forward at work. Mary Alice presented some relationship trivia. Who makes up the majority of your network?
- Smart people
- People you see regularly
- People you are related to
- People you affiliate with
I guessed, “People you see regularly” but it turns out the correct answer is People you affiliate with, which is why some people call it a “man’s world”!
Approach every interaction by asking “Am I approaching this with”
- Integrity: grounded in my own values
- Authenticity: with genuine intent
- Reciprocity: add and receive value
People think, “Why would senior management want to talk to me? They don’t know me.” The truth is senior management is interested in talking to us because we are the pulse of the organization. When it comes to growing your network, people are surprised at the number of people they are already connected to. “My head’s down, I’m working really hard, maybe I need to pick my head back up and look around to see who the key stakeholders are.”
It’s not about 6000 LinkedIn connection. 1 relationship can be worth a pound of gold.
Mentoring vs. Sponsorship
Mentor and Mentee:
- mentees: confidentiality, commonality, ask how you can help them (reciprocity)
Sponsor and Protege:
- enabling job opportunities
- has more confidence in you than you have
- behind closed doors bringing your name to the table
- proteges: no B players! Be less focused on titles
Blogger’s aside: In Strong Medicine by Arthur Hayley, the protagonist, Celia Jordan, makes the statement that she is “hitching her wagon” to her immediate boss, Sam Hawthorne. Sam advocated for her career progress when she was not in the room and was instrumental in her meteoric rise (she eventually became president of the company). Sam’s actions make him a sponsor, as opposed to a mentor.
The Best Brand of You
- What do you love about work?
- What were your successes in the last 3 months?
- Why are you great at what you do?
Decode your power.