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LD Breakfast Club: Navigating 360° Relationships at Work

In our second run of the Leadership Development Breakfast Club, we covered the topic of “Navigating 360° Relationships at Work”. We heard from 2 established female leaders, Agnes Eymery and Stefanie Yuen-Thio, on how to better manage all types of relationships at work - vertically, horizontally and cross-functionally. 

In our lively and candid discussions over the breakfast table, through speaker sharing on their experiences and responses to our challenges faced, we learnt about strategies to deal with different personality types, working and communication styles, how to better navigate conflict and build greater trust in relationships at the workplace.

Below are our key takeaways:

Building crucial relationships and Networking 

  • Relationships are all about “who are you”. Define who you are as an individual as well as a professional in the workplace. Determine where your added value is.

  • Identify your direct sphere and indirect sphere of influence in your network:

  • The direct sphere of influence will be your friends and close allies who you will able to trust and be your connectors.

  • To build relationships within the direct sphere, use the power of observation and listening to find out what others are passionate about and build bridges.

  • Maintain these relationships through time and nurture them, and they will be able to advise you based on knowing who you are. These people will be able to tell you when things are not going the right way or things that can be done in a different way.

  • The indirect sphere is a connection to the direct sphere and can be an extension of the direct sphere. These are contacts that are made who can help you along the way. 

  • Develop a marketing plan: Ask yourself, who am I, and what is my value? Be clear on  how people can help you and how a connection can be mutually beneficial

  • Identify mentors and sponsors in your workplace.

  • Do not assume that the work you do in the workplace is visible: make sure your manager knows what you’re working on and that no silos happen.

Adapting to working with different types of individuals

  • In general, people we work with may have one or more of certain characteristics, and we can be prepared to adapt to different approaches:

  • With a Process-driven individual who is very technical and detailed, it is advised to be prepared to provide them with the details they require;

  • With a Mission-oriented individual who is focused on the end result and outcome, it is helpful to provide them with an executive summary;

  • With Relationship-oriented individuals, a gentle approach can be taken;

  • With creative individuals, it would be helpful to assist them with mapping out processes and the outcome.

  • Develop a more balanced approach in dealing with people at work, and adapt to and/or complement your leader's style.

  • Align with the interests you are working with and put yourself in the position of the decision-maker; understand the other party's intentions in order to drive outcomes.

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