Relationships are the most important aspect of the business world. It is through the relationship with coworkers that we help grow a business, whether it is one we own or as an employee.
A relationship with someone else could become mentor-like, where you provide advice to someone or they guide you through your career. Developing relationships often comes naturally to women but very few understand the best ways to build those relationships to gain the most benefit.
It often seems unnatural for a woman to use a relationship to improve her career, although it is not unnatural for many women to feel the need to nurture someone who seems to need guidance. There are several ways for women to not only build relationships that allow them to offer advice and assistance, but also to help them advance in their career as well.
The first step in gaining influence is to cultivate trust among others. When people trust you, they are more likely to be open to your suggestions. If you are in a supervisory position, you need to have the trust of those you supervise in order for them to complete the tasks you assign.
As a supervisor, you could demand that things be completed, but that doesn’t instill trust among your staff. By the same token, you not only want your supervisor to trust that you will accomplish the goals they set for you, but that you can trust them to do their part as well.
The best way to cultivate trust is by being open and honest at all times. Don’t hesitate to express opinions, but do so in a calm, assertive manner. By the same token, do not be afraid to express concerns to everyone involved in a project, whether it is to your supervisor or to the team that is working under you.
One simple way to develop influential relationships is simply to do what you say you will do when you say you will do it and do that consistently.
If you execute the assignments you are given every day, on time, people will begin to rely on you to get things done. One of the key aspects of leadership is reliability as people will not follow your lead if you are unreliable.
Consistency also demonstrates a desire to succeed, so even if you are at the bottom of the company hierarchy, providing consistent results will get the attention of those who may have an influence over your career.
Many women have the mistaken belief that being assertive means they must be aggressive. It is important to remember that there is a huge difference between getting your point across and doing so in an aggressive manner.
It is important to express opinions and ideas with a degree of confidence, but if that confidence is too excessive, you may come across as arrogant. Instead, focus on relaying your opinions and ideas in a manner that displays confidence, but with a tone and attitude that allows for discussion.
These are just a few of the ways you can develop influential relationships in order to not only advance your career but assist others in advancing theirs. Remember to show flexibility and add your own personality to your interactions with others.
The key is to focus on your actions rather than your words. Your actions will have more impact on others than the words you speak, so be sure what you are doing is what you want others around you to do as well.
Finally, develop strong listening skills so that you have a better understanding of the people around you. These simple strategies can help you tap into the natural ability you have to influence others and help you move forward in any endeavor you choose to conquer.