Updated: Oct 7, 2020
Studies have shown that happiness cannot be achieved without social relationships and that 85% of professional success comes from people skills. While some of us are hired for the very skill of managing external relationships and clients, we soon realize that managing internal stakeholders is a necessary evil. Whether it is our bosses, peers, support staff or team members, we cannot successfully move up the ladder without mastering the art of interpersonal relationships.
However more often that not, we underestimate the need to form meaningful professional connections at our workplaces and get more focused on our immediate tasks and goals. Some view building work relationships as a distraction while others feel overwhelmed to invest time in people in order to avoid further complexity in their lives. While creating positive relationships takes skill and practice, the first step towards fostering a sense of purpose and well-being is to start improving our social connections at work.
Luckily, a corporate setup encourages professional connections in the following ways:
1) Introduction: Employees can request HR or their managers to send out an introductory email when they join the company or department. Moreover, whether it is a large or a small company, everyone is curious about the new team member and all it takes is a “hello” to get the conversation going.
2) Culture: All companies have a set of shared values, goals, attitudes, beliefs and practices that determine how the employees and management interact and handle transactions. Try and quickly understand and adjust to the company culture in order to blend in with fellow colleagues, speak the same “language” and conduct work according to expected standards.
3) Community: Most companies have forums or communities where like-minded individuals can participate based on common interests or skills. This is a great way to socialize outside the employee’s current team/department.
4) Events: Companies organize/facilitate professional events for two or more people in the form of lunch meetings, happy hours, offsites, team get-togethers, clubs, competitions, etc. As long as employees show up for these events, networking will inevitably happen.
5) Mentorship: Programs to train, coach and shadow someone at the workplace are excellent opportunities to form trusted relationships in a safe space without being judged or evaluated. Employees can enroll for this program or volunteer to be a mentor.
I have listed 5 ways, but there may be more opportunities to interact with people at work and overtime these relationships can go a long way in providing the necessary foundation for success. Keep in mind that all these opportunities are applicable for remote workers as well. However, what happens sometimes is that these interactions can become complex or confusing and you find it difficult to manage these personalities which can in-turn hamper your progress. Will talk about this more in subsequent blogs. Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Jay B is an interpersonal intelligence coach. With his coaching methodology, he helps his global clients better understand and resolve workplace power dynamics and interpersonal situations effectively in order to achieve goals.