Close relationships become closer, while remote relationships become more distant. However, it is the distance relationships which helps us to progress in our career. How can you develop new relationships that may be important for your professional or personal growth, especially in the midst of a global pandemic? The best leaders recognise how important relationships are, and they invest in them strategically instead of falling prey to transactional relationships.
In the second of the two-part workshop series on 31 July led by Admired Leadership Asia’s Managing Director, Krisztina Anspach, we dive deeper to unpack what it really means to build purposeful relationships - be it professional or personal - for life.
Before we officially get down to the key tips, it is important to remember that it is never too early to start building relationships. Relationships should be fostered with everyone and as many people as possible to promote diversity. It is not about being “fake” or “political” but rather about both parties having a vested interest in ensuring a well-functioning relationship. Here are Krisztina’s tips on how to go beyond transactional networking and start building meaningful relationships:
Add Value in Relationships Be strategic in whom you choose to invest your time with. The person whom you are adding value to should also value-add to you. It is important to ensure that the other party is interested and engaged in building the relationship. Vary and diversify your engagement strategy and go beyond emails or LinkedIn.
Frequency vs. Quality What makes for a good relationship? Is it the quality of time spent with a person, or the frequency? No doubt quality is important to deepen the relationship, but it is the frequency that keeps the relationship engaged and constantly moving. Remember that frequency creates impact.
Feeding the Bear Always try to provide useful and valuable information, especially to your senior leaders so that you keep them engaged and interested in the conversation. Oftentimes, senior leaders are looking out for micro-level information that can be best provided by the people working in a specific department/project.
Your Drip List Start building your drip list. Start by listing out all your existing contacts in your network and categorise them e.g., Gym club, Work etc. From that list, narrow down to the people that you want to maintain a relationship with. Do note that if you are meeting a contact for the first time, you should try to schedule a meeting with them within the first 3 weeks from when you were first connected. For existing contacts, you should try to keep in touch with them as often as possible – every 3 months or so is a good rule of thumb.
Plan for the next Conversation Always plan for an unexpected conversation. For example, imagine bumping into a senior leader of your organisation in the elevator - you most certainly do not want to engage them in a conversation about the weather! Prepare in advance for such conversations so that you will not be caught off-guard should such a situation ever arise.
Disagree Agreeably In the event of a disagreement, pause and take a moment to compose yourself, then reframe your perspective and assume that the other party means well. Respect and acknowledge where they are coming from with their views or perspective. Politely and respectfully disagree with them and remember to justify your rationale.
Finally, always remember to end your conversations with gratitude and be respectful of the other party’s boundaries.
Keep these tips in mind at your next networking opportunity, and you will find yourself cultivating meaningful and purposeful ones that you can sustain for life.
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Organising Committee: Leadership Development