Growing in your career isn’t just about your Skills but also about your relationships
Is very frequent to hit a point in our career where the emphasis we’ve placed on accomplishing goals doesn’t return the same rewards. By doing that we’ve crossed an invisible line, and we usually don’t know what can happen until there aren’t any repercussions.
This type of situation often means that you’ve spent too much time building your skills — and not enough time on building relationships.
What can you do to set yourself up for success? Here are five actions you can take right now and throughout your career to strengthen your relationships and put you on the path for an effective growth.
Know what makes you great at your job and share your talents with others.
Senior management needs to see you’re able to work well with others. After all, companies don’t succeed through individual effort; they achieve results through collective leadership.
To understand what sets you apart, ask yourself: What you are known for? What types of problems do people frequently ask for your to help solve? Take that skill and find a friendly and gentle way to share your gift with others to build relationships and add value to the team. For example, if you’re good at presentations, offer to provide feedback on a colleague’s dry run before their next big meeting. Or host a brown bag roundtable on best tips for presenting to executive management, where your team members can share their top recommendations.
Understand how others see you and then shift your perspective from “me” to “we.”
As you grow in your career, find opportunities to get feedback on how you show up to others. This will help you become aware of behaviors that may be decrease your effectiveness and avoid blind spots in self-awareness that can slow your career progress.
Mentor others to develop your leadership skills.
As the great Jack Welch said: “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”
We learn best when we are teaching others.
One easy way to do this can be to reach out to a person outside your business unit that would welcome your help and commit to spending an hour with them once a month for a year to work on an issue they raise.Moreover, when you help others, you’ll feel great, and they will thank you for it. This gratitude will fill you up and benefit to your lack of confidence moments.
Learn how to work productively with personalities you find difficult.
Each of us has preferences in working and communication styles, and usually there are some people that we have more difficulty in working with than others. The earlier you can identify the specific personality characteristics that are challenging for you, the more time you have to develop strategies for working effectively with them. This is important because until you do, history will repeat itself. The triggering traits will resurface in other colleagues.
Remember also that relationships change over time, people change they get promoted, and can go to work for other companies. One day you may find yourself reporting to your frenemy. Take the long view and invest in your relationships — even those that don’t come easily at the first step.
Set healthy boundaries in your work relationships.
It can be easy to fall into the trap of believing that extra hours will get you to a promotion or to a growth in your career path. However, advance and take on more responsibility, it’s really not about saying yes to everything. Rather, know which things to say no to. Be judicious and diplomatic, and learn to delegate.
Some things you should say yes to: Volunteering for cross-functional task forces and other opportunities to broaden your network, learn new skills outside your comfort zone, and earn the support of other executives outside your direct reporting line. Aim for projects that are revenue-generating or strategic, such as those that will increase the efficiency and output of your organization.
Start forming your diplomatic “no” skills early. Just because you seem more junior in seniority does not meanthat you need to take on everything that comes your way. If it’s clear to management that you attract followersamong your colleagues and achieve results through others, the next time a promotion opens up, they’re likely to bet on you.