Whether you’re just starting your career, or looking at your next promotion, you might think that great work is the key to accessing the next level.
It certainly counts. But stop for a second.
What about being authentic? Don’t you think you need a great reputation to build positive relations?
We’re in a hyper-connected world, where an entrepreneurial mindset prevails.
”It’s not what you do, but who you know.”
If you want to create your own opportunities at work, you need the ability to influence at all levels.
So here’s how to build positive relations and get a strong reputation.
Prefer visuals? Here’s the Slideshare!
1. Take action: help, resolve or die
The starting point to build positive relations is trust. What’s the most effective way to build trust quickly?
Help or resolve.
By resolving a problem, you directly impact your stakeholders; in essence, you make life easier, which is something people rarely forget.
By helping, you indirectly impact your network. You might not resolve immediately, but you are the good egg they everyone can count on to lend a hand.
- Related: How to suggest an idea to your boss
A good reputation is built on small intentional actions. Give skills, time, and intelligence away.
2. Embrace all connections
A common mistake made by young leaders is to build their network around certain levels of seniority only.
You might think an executive has enough power to speed up your own progress. It’s true.
But how many knocked at their door already, trying to start a trustful relationship?
Don’t be too selective to start with. First, you can practice without damaging your authority. Second, the more popular you are, the more the positive relations with people who can help you build a strong reputation.
Step into an Executive’s shoes; what would you prefer? An isolated meeting with someone you don’t know? A collection of stories about your achievements, reported by people they know and trust?
It takes a while to build positive relations with the bigwigs. So leverage word of mouth!
Ready to step into your leadership potential? Grab my e-book (it’s FREE) and discover how to move past self-doubt, communicate for impact and lead through trust.
3. To build positive relations, communication is everything
A strong reputation stems from a solid and reliable network. But this doesn’t happen overnight.
The ones who build positive relations excel at communication. They know how to lead a conversation. They can make a point and defuse arguments. They can even make their interlocutors feel like they are the ones driving the conversation.
Gifted? For most of them, it’s the result of hard work on communication skills.
Do the same. Get on a short course to understand how to position your message. Use coaching questions so that you make an impact each time you open your mouth.
Perfecting the way you communicate is a long term investment you’ll never regret. A fluid and impactful interaction can open any door.
4. Follow up
How many great people have you talked to….only once? If you open a conversation, take the time to follow up. It counts if you want build positive relations!
Be visible to your contacts. Get them to know and like you.
People love to talk about themselves. So have genuine interest on what’s going on in their life. What are they working on at the moment? What are their holiday plans? Get the relation outside of the office, and if it’s appropriate take them out for coffee or lunch.
Delicate, consistent attention leads to one thing – being remembered.
To build positive relations is, to a certain extent, soft selling your own self. Remember one thing – soft selling starts with powerful conversations that never occur in the context of a sales pitch.
5. Be mindful
Work is work, but it’s all about people. You never know what people have to deal with emotionally, personally, or even professionally. For instance, I was recently chatting to someone I know very well (or so I thought) to discover she was bullied in the office!
If you work on sales, people might be stressed. If you lead change, it could be that the program you work on could result in job loss, and colleagues being worried about the future.
The ability to read context and respond at a personal level are essential to build positive relations. Spend time developing mindfulness and rewire your brain towards response instead of reaction.
6. Bring together and connect
Hear of a team struggling with a problem? You know someone who addressed a similar issue? Put both groups in touch.
By doing so, you position yourself as a connector who knows how to network like a boss. At the same time, you create a win-win situation:
- the team can move on
- your contact will feel honoured to be called for a rescue mission.
Who’s between the winners? You.
7. Be polite
In competitive environments, politeness is so rare that you can almost stand out just by saying ‘hi’ to your colleagues. Want to build positive relations so that you get a strong reputation?
Respect others; their reality, their opinions and their level of seniority.
8. Be fun
Fun people are attractive (so much so that dating coaches’ first recommendation is to make your future partner laugh).
Making things informal from time to time will earn you sympathy. Things are bad? Address the situation with a smile. Tell everyone we’re humans and can make mistakes. Celebrate successes. Play to relax. Cheer the group up, move on and take action. That’s what the best leaders do.
The best leaders put people before work, and build positive relations at all levels. The quality of their network makes their good reputation, and is key to positioning them as a role model!
But if you really want to stand out, let me share my ninja secret. Be a human an being with a positive attitude. That’s by far the best way to connect, be remembered, and build deep relations on the long term.
How do you build positive relations? Share your best tip below!