Cultivating relationships is a skill successful executives develop and own from the mid-level management point and upward. And it becomes proportionately more vital the higher you move in your organization.
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Hi, everyone. Welcome to thrive with Nancy. This podcast is for executive women who want more from their careers. What if I told you an old belief system of yours could be slowing down, maybe even blocking your career progress? Yep . It could be true, but wait, in this podcast, you'll receive simple practical tips for thriving. Are you ready to dig into the magic of the power of one connecting with many? It is all about out how you relate to your career. First of all, you may think of business as simply transactional in nature. You know, you offer something, do a good job and produce a win. So you believe that you're golden as long as you Excel in this arena, but that is a bit naive. The reality that the success of a business isn't merely the greatness of its products or services, or even how many projects you complete on time and under budget, all profitable companies or successful careers are generated through interconnecting networks of relationships for in business. There are no transactions that don't rely on interaction of people both internally and externally. You know, perhaps you even agree that relationships are crucial and I hope you do, but stumble when it comes to fully utilizing them to general your grand career. Well, you'll wonder no more. As we break down, simple practical tips for you, you see most women and I recognize we're all unique. So this may not be for you, but most women define relationships as requiring a level of emotional connect activity. And this harms women, when we most need broad arranging networks that aren't based on liking, respecting, et cetera . You know, I hate to acknowledge this, even saying it out loud, causes a cringe to the back of my spine. But career success has a lot to do with who knows you and who, you know, if you're like me, you're probably cringing. That is way too shallow. A factor to be deemed worthy of career growth. You may think surely it's about my work performance, knowledge and abilities. No, it's not think about isn't it hard to imagine someone rising through the ranks without powerful relationships, as part of their leadership arsenal. It's just tough to navigate without strategic partners throughout the organization, supporting your career progression. And I promise you all those relationships that your fellow higher level , senior level people are developing. Aren't primarily based on deep emotions. Keep in mind the earlier in your career, you invest in these all important relationships. The smoother your career rise will be evidence tells the story. And it's a powerful story. The center for talent innovation did a study that determined fully 70% of sponsored men and 68% of sponsored women feel they are progressing through the ranks at a satisfactory pace compare to 57% of their unsponsored peers that translates into a sponsor effect of 23% for men and 19% for women. Woo that's a lot. And what are sponsors? They're powerful relationships with senior leaders supporting your career development. Most of you may even say, I have this aspect nailed. Let me challenge you are those senior relationships ones you built reactively. Were they your boss or team leaders who you worked well with? So you continued the connection or were they senior leaders you proactively initiated the contact with if it's the former, rather than latter, that may be why you're stuck in junior level , thinking not leadership. Think there are some leadership traits in business that never change and relationship building is at the top of that list. Proactive means strategizing ahead of time regarding who you intend to meet, it's that simple, but let's dig deep to steps. You can take to open doors to a top level position. Should you choose? And should that be part of your aspirational goals in this conversation? We're focusing on high level connections because that's the toughest for most women to initiate, but never forget. The more plentiful you develop relationships throughout the organization, the more powerful your business foundation. So always keep the big picture in mind where you're going and be ready to commit to a minimum of 15 minutes a week to develop an and touch your network. How do you do this? You do it by deciding what your objective is. Plan to connect with quality, not quantity and integrity, not flattery. How start asking yourself, who are the executives, getting things done in your organization that you want to meet, who is holding a position of interest to you? Who are the innovators? Because you know, those are the go-geters in your organization. What do you admire and respect about these executives in this exercise? You decide who you want to meet. Let's start with one of the most challenging relationship building questions. How can I develop relationships when I rarely get to meet leaders because I work remotely or I'm not located at corporate headquarters, my client let's call her. Marilyn was working at a company which was acquired leaving any number of employees, anxious about their future. Marilyn called me excitedly. However, to share that she had been retained and given additional responsibilities in the new arm company, you congratulations Marilyn . Now, how does Marilyn keep her career trajectory on track? You see before the merger, she was housed at the headquarters office where she intentionally bumped into and struck up conversations with leaders in the cafeteria, the L elevator and the hallways, which is something I hope you're doing right now for yourself. However, the headquarter office through this merger is thousands of miles away. My recommendation is pertinent to anyone who is working offsite. I advise Marilyn that she to visit the headquarter office as soon as strategically possible, and then make business trips to that location. As often as possible, every time she is at a corporate event, sees an email about someone's promotion or reads something regarding a key executive at her company mail has to and should proactively reach out to that person by making a call or sending a note. And yes, I say note because notes are so much more well received and remembered than an email next, enter that executive's name on her calendar to fall follow up in three months, where once again, she connects to this executive with an email or places, a telephone call or sends a personal note or shares something pertinent that has you popping up on their radar. Then ahead of visiting the headquarter office or corporate site, I recommended that Marilyn carry two things in her mental hip pocket. First, it would be her elevator speech. You know, that pithy branding sentence that distinguishes her from the herd. Second, Marilyn must make sure that she researches executives at the site so that she knows a bit about them. I even suggested she print out the picture of any executives she's interested in targeting this proactive action would enable her to recognize the executive suppose Marilyn runs into one of these targeted executives walking down the hallway or in the elevator or at the company's cafeteria. She could initiate a conversation with that executive by name while introducing herself. How impressed do you believe that executive would be? Do you think perhaps they're gonna remember Maryland or you, if you did the same, then I suggested she always relate to the executive from an added value perspective. Marilyn should find a way to congratulate the executive on the contribution they bring to the company or reveal her respect for this executive on their position regarding X, Y , Z , or the differences executives made in the field. Perhaps she discovers an interest they have in common to jumpstart the converse , whatever you do find a way to relate in some small or large way with this executive at the highest level. And believe me leaders are honored when someone thanks them for a speech they made and impressive win for the company or anything you may garner. That's how you start creating relationships when you're not on site or you're working remotely, or even if you're working with such a large corporation that not everyone is known to you. I know that's a lot of proactive. I get it. And yet that is what , what is required to establish powerful relationships if you choose. And I really hope you do choose. Do you see what Maryland's coaching can be translated into your world? It is you being prepared to be known by these executives. You are doing the homework so that you are ready for the possibilities that come your way. Cultivating relationships is a skill you have to develop and own from the mid-management point and upward in your career from then on. Honestly, it becomes proportionately more vital. And the earlier in your career, as I said before, you invent asked in these all important relationship building skills, the sooner you will begin accruing dividends to move your career in the direction you choose speedily , make your ride to the top full of connections, effortless and satisfying. Let's lock this baby up with some juicy statistics that will cement your decision to be a relationship builder. As it turns out universally those in organizations who are seen as quote unquote high potential or as the can't do without right hand, employee have more diversified professional and personal networks than those who are average or low performers . Yes, relationships are a vital commodity. As Jessica Stillman wrote in her article. This is a big , I guess , career predictor of career success. Being in an open network instead of a closed one and closed networks are ones made up of people who already know each other. So the more open network you create, the higher potential you have. The question is, are you taking courageous action in building relationships within the highest ranks of your company? Are you ready to experience an expanded career journey with more joy, fulfillment and purpose? Because you're willing to stretch outside of your comfort zone. <affirmative> if you are the power of one, connecting with many is an all important tool to acquire. Please pass along this podcast to your friends and peers so they can benefit as you have. Thanks so much. And if you choose and you're looking for more help, I'd love for you to check out the, your strategic edge program. You can partner with me, an executive coach who has aided thousands of men and women in unlocking secrets for expanding their careers. I can do this for you too together. We explore diverse ways to bring possibility into being for you to realize your professional aspirations. No kidding. Check out www thrive with nancy.com/executive/. I'd be delighted to support you in any way. Can remember no one ever makes it to the top or even arrives at their next destination alone. I'd love to partner with you.