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The Art of Building Relationships You Need to Succeed in Your Career

The Art of Building Relationships You Need to Succeed in Your Career

The power of building relationships cannot be overstated. While the concept “building relationships” sounds like a fancy business buzzword, there’s really a lot of substance behind it.

Many people do fine going about their business keeping their head down. Sometimes they poke their head out from their cubicle like a prairie dog when there’s free cake to be had but other than that, they do their own thing. They only worry about interacting with the people that they need to on a day to day basis.

Unfortunately, these people are shortchanging their own career. In this article, we will look at the art of building relationships you need to succeed in your career.

Remember, you are the CEO of your own career. How far you go towards achieving the goals you want for yourself in your career is squarely on your shoulders. Utilize the art of building relationships to help power success in your career.

Let’s take a look at why building relationships is so important to your career and how to go about doing it.

How Building Relationships Helps Your Career

Building relationships is often cited as one of the key drivers for building a successful career. It is absolutely mission critical. Building relationships helps your career in so many ways. When you make an effort to build relationships with your clients, it shows that you actually care about them as customers.

Creating positive and supportive relationships with your fellow coworkers will help you perform your job better. When they see that you are an important member of the team, they will want to work with you and come to look forward to interacting with you.

As you develop meaningful dialogue with your boss and deepen the relationship, he or she will see that they can trust you. They see you as someone who does what they say they are going to do and that builds trust. Building the trust and relationship with your boss can help you immensely in your career.

As we will see in this article shortly, there are some key people you should build relationships outside of work that can be hugely beneficial to you as well. Everywhere you look, you will see the value of creating strong relationships to propel your career.

Who to Build Relationships With

Ideally, you want to build relationships both inside and outside your company. I realize this might sound a bit strange, so let me explain:

The people inside your company can really help with the day to day aspects of your job and career. These include your boss or bosses, your fellow coworkers, and I’m going to include vendors you might work with.

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Outside of your company, there are other groups of people you should work to build great relationships with. These include your customers, mentors, and key folks in your industry.

Let’s take a deeper look at these groups:

Internally At Work

Your Boss

This should immediate pop into your mind. It is super important to build a good relationship with your boss or bosses.

Many people have one boss. I’ve worked in several organizations where I really had numerous bosses I had to develop relationships with. In any event, this is a critical relationship to build.

Make sure you have ongoing, open communication with your boss. Stay clear on your objectives and priorities. Know what areas create the biggest impact for your supervisor (and therefore you).

Be aligned on strategic initiatives and how you can help shape and influence that whenever possible. This all becomes possible when you and your boss(es) are on the same page through a good working relationship.

Your Associates

This is pretty much a no brainer as well. You can most likely see the benefit of solid working relationships with those people you interact with at work on a regular basis.

It’s a wonderful thing to know someone you work with has your back and you have theirs as you navigate your career and work product. These is a direct result of creating and building great relationships with your associates.

Keep open dialogue and a create a sense of teamwork and fun whenever possible.

Your Customers

This could really be included in either in or out of work. Some of us work with internal customers, some of us with external customers.

If you are client facing, then you have to be able to build trustful, advisor-like relationships with them. You want them to see you as a great resource in whatever capacity they are paying you or your company. That is your value to them. This comes from creating those trusting and meaningful relationships.

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If your customers are inside your company, it’s super important to create great working relationships with them as well. Being in recruiting I have internal customers (hiring managers) and external customers (candidates).

Outside Of Work

Mentors

You can have mentors both inside and outside of work. Best case scenario is to have mentors at both.

I like to stay in touch with my favorite bosses of all time. I continue to get advice and direction from them from time to time. They are from previous jobs so they are really outside of my day to day work.

I also have several mentors who do similar work to what I do, but are more senior and therefore more experienced and have some great wisdom. It takes work to maintain these relationships but it is well worth it.

Key Industry Folks

I work in recruiting. There are people at other companies who oversee huge recruiting machines. I like to have strong relationships with some of these folks that I get along well with. That way we are able to offer up advice to each other from time to time. If I am facing a new challenge, I can pick up the phone and call for some input.

There are also some people I’ve developed relationships with over the years who have expertise in a specific area. They are awesome when I need some advice in their area of expertise. Conversely, I can help them from time to time with my expertise.

Vendor Partners

Not all of us work with vendors in our day to day job responsibilities. If you do, it’s well worth building strong relationships with your most important vendor partners.

Not all vendors are great. The ones that are truly invested in helping your company succeed are worth the time to create meaningful relationships with.

In one fashion or another, we are all a vendor to someone. We all have customers. Recognize who helps you succeed with your customers and treat them accordingly.

The Art of Building Relationships

Building relationships is part science and part art. To be an effective relationship builder, you’ve got to genuinely be interested in others. Here are some strategies that can help you build relationships to help you in your career.

We’ve looked at the key groups of people that you should build relationships with. Now let’s take a look at some specific relationship building strategies and ideas.

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1. Be Appreciative

One of the foundations of building relationships is being appreciative of everyone you partner with at work. This includes your clients, your boss or bosses, and your fellow coworkers.

Take the time to say thank and be genuinely appreciative of what they have done for you. It might be in the form of incoming revenue from a client, or could be the tips and guidance your boss provides to you. It might be the report or presentation your fellow associate helped you with that helped you land the new client.

Always be appreciative of how others interact with and help you during the course of business.

2. Spend Your Time Wisely

It’s not uncommon for me to try to run in too many differing directions. When I do this, I am not very effective at any of them. When I focus on the most important items, I am much more effective.

This is suggested with relationships as well. Identify the most meaningful relationships you should create and maintain for both your career and others.

Remember, this isn’t a one-sided deal. You have to be a person that someone wants to invest time in to create a solid relationship. Speaking of which…

3. Give as Much as You Get

This is really true in all relationships and it certainly applies here. You have to be able to provide equal value in the relationship.

Maybe you’re a mentor to someone. To your boss, you provide a great work product and that’s some very good value for your boss. You provide insight and value to your clients and customers — whether they are internal or external.

Make sure you take the time and spend the energy to give as much as you get, if not more.

4. Be Social

Work relationships don’t just get created and developed at work. Many times, this happens outside of the building you work in. It can happen over lunch, coffee, and adult beverage, at the gym, and many other places.

Take the time to invite key folks you want to build relationships to lunch or coffee or whatever works. You don’t always have to talk about work topics. Some of the best working relationships get the foundation built outside of the office without talking about work stuff at all.

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5. Get out of Your Comfort Zone

It’s one thing to ask a coworker to lunch to start building a relationship. It’s quite another to pick up the phone and call someone you’ve never met because you think they could be a key relationship.

Force yourself to get out of your comfort zone and develop some relationships with people you don’t know.

I have reached out to quite a few people that recruit for the same kind of people in the same industry as me but work at competitors. Unsurprisingly, most of them have ignored me. With several that haven’t ignored me, we’ve built meaningful, referral type relationships.

6. Help Others Succeed

There is probably no better way at building relationships you need to succeed in your career than helping others succeed. This one thing is so powerful it will win you instant relationships. Think about the last time someone you worked with went out of their way to help you in a critical work moment.

I’ve recently joined a new company. I am working on recruiting someone who I believe will be a huge success at the company I am now at. The person that runs the Western half of the US offered to help me. His exact email words were “Let me know if there is anything I can do. I’m more than happy to do what I can to help land this individual”. You can bet he made an instant fan in me.

Conclusion

The ability to build relationships has the power to help you incredibly in your career. There is no one magic technique that creates these partnerships but rather a variety of methods and approaches.

Through the course of this article, we’ve looked at the art of building relationship you need to succeed in your career. Take what works for you and apply it liberally to give your career a significant lift.

Remember, the success you achieve in your career is entirely up to you. When you put the time and energy into building strong work related relationships, you give yourself a huge career boost.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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Mat Apodaca

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Published on March 12, 2020

How to Create Social Goals to Make an Impact in the World

How to Create Social Goals to Make an Impact in the World

As you pursue personal success, you need to bear in mind that you owe it as a duty to humanity to make the world a better place — to touch lives, preserve nature, and contribute your quota to help fight the world’s social problems, such as poverty, hunger, lack of quality education, HIV/AIDS, climate change, cancer, etc.

By taking a bit of time from your busy schedule, you can set aside some hours aside weekly or monthly or spend a portion of your annual leave pursuing a variety of social goals in your neighborhood, local community or around the world.

In this article, you can find some tips on how to set your own social goals. I have also shared some examples of such goals you can use to inspire you in setting your own.

What Are Social Goals?

Social goals can be described as the goals that connect an individual or group to their immediate world — to make an impact, to create values, to affect lives, to provide or preserve social amenities or infrastructure, to solve social problems, and/or to protect the natural environment.

Social goals can appear at the individual or corporate level. Corporate social goals are usually described as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), while some personal social goals can be described as community service. The focus of this article is personal social goals.

Why Social Goals Are Important

Setting and pursuing social goals can remind you that you are an important stakeholder in the overall development of society. There are diverse problems in communities and around the world that require more than government efforts. Individuals can join hands with the government to address some of these challenges. Below are some of the reasons you should set social goals and “get involved.”

To Touch Lives

There are many disadvantaged people around the world who also have great potential. When you set goals to meet social needs, such as feeding the poor and educating the underprivileged, you are touching lives and transforming destinies.

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To Find Your True Passion

Your social goals can indeed help you find your true passion. In many instances, your chosen career may not be your true passion, even if you are successful. By getting involved in some social responsibilities, you might be able to find your true passion — something to live the rest of your life for.

To Stay Motivated

Meeting social needs and achieving social goals can also be a source of motivation that can boost your performance in other areas of your life. When you focus too much on yourself and your career, you might get bored with routines and begin to lose motivation, but getting involved and achieving results in something different can be a source of motivation that can spill over to your career.

To Boost Your Public Image

While carrying out the honest duties of touching lives and meeting needs, there is a chance that you will begin to get some recognition for what you are doing, and this can boost your public image. You will also get to meet a lot of people and grow your network in your social pursuits.

How to Set Social Goals

Now that you know how important social goals can be, how do you go about setting your own goals and making your own contributions? Here are some tips below:

1. Consider Your Interests

To start setting your own goals, you have to start with your own interests. Search deep within to know if you have had a growing concern about any group of people or any social issues now or in the past.

A famous American preacher, Mike Murdock once said:[1]

“Those who unlock your compassion are those to whom you’ve been assigned.”

The things that make you feel like you need to do something can help you identify the areas where you can help.

2. Do Some Research

Search your community or online to find the current needs and opportunities available to touch lives and make a positive social impact around the world. For example, you can review the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development[2] to know the priority areas of need and use the information to draw out some of your goals.

You can also talk to charities, advocacy groups, or volunteering centers to know what needs they currently have.

3. Look at Your Schedule

The time you can devote to social causes depends on your current schedule, and this will determine how involved you can be and what goals you should set. If you do not have the time, your goals can be more of a financial commitment rather than physical involvement. However, if you have more time to yourself on certain days, you can get involved physically, too.

4. Review Your Abilities

This is about your talent, skills, abilities, expertise, and resources. As much as you want to help, you can’t do anything outside of your own capacity. Check in with your abilities and resources, what can you do, and what needs you can meet. It may be that you do not have the capacity but can mobilize resources and expertise from other sources to meet certain needs.

5. Decide on Your Goals

You will have many options before you, but you have to decide on which goals you want to pursue based on what is most important to you, what you can devote your time to, and what your resources can handle.

10 Examples of Social Goals

Below are 10 examples of social goals you can choose from. They can also inspire you to set your own goals.

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1. Be a Volunteer

One of the ways to “get involved” is by being a volunteer, and there are different ways to go about this. For example, you can volunteer to teach your favorite subject at your community school, visit a senior citizens’ center to help, prepare and serve meals at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen, etc.

If you want to learn how to fit volunteerism into your schedule, this article may help.

2. Donate a Portion of Your Income to Charity

Set a goal to donate a portion of your monthly or annual income to charity. This might also be an option if you do not have the time to get physically involved in an organization.

3. Join an Advocacy Group to Reduce Carbon Emissions

If you have a passion to curb the effects of climate change or to stop environmental degradation, you can start or join an advocacy group to educate, enlighten, and mobilize the public on compliance.

4. Become a Mentor

Sometimes, making yourself available to guide younger people and mentor them might be something you can do to help. Young people are always on the lookout for someone to look up to. Sharing your wealth of experience with young people in your community and guiding them on what steps to take to also become successful can be a great idea.

5. Attend Community Meetings

Attending community meetings will open your eyes to the needs around you. Keep regular attendance and participate in community joint initiatives. You can also volunteer to serve on a community board.

6. Request Charitable Donations on Your Birthdays

Another good initiative is using the occasion of your birthdays to make charitable donations. Asking your friends and well-wishers to support you in this initiative can yield desirable results.

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7. Coach a Youth Sports Team

If you are passionate about sports, you can raise new talent by coaching a youth sports team. You can also use the opportunity for youth mentoring.

8. Donate Your Old Clothes

You probably have plenty of clothes in your wardrobe that you don’t get to wear often. Any clothing (apart from clothes reserved for special occasions) that you have not worn for the past six months can be given out. You can also decide to change your wardrobe yearly to give out your old clothes to those who need them.

9. Become CPR Certified

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving skill you can acquire to save lives in the event of an emergency. If you get certified, you will not only be able to use it to save lives, but you will also be able to train several others.

10. Help Victims of Natural Disasters

Hurricanes, tornadoes, landslides, or forest fires happen around the world, and a countless number of people are suffering the aftermaths of these disasters. You can set a goal to provide help for such people, either by sending relief materials or by volunteering to build temporary shelters.

Final Thoughts

People can be remembered for their personal accomplishments, but the memories that linger most are how they have used their lives and resources to touch lives and make their societies better. Setting and pursuing social goals can give you the opportunity to put your name in the hearts of humans and feature in other people’s life stories.

More Tips on Setting Social Goals

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

Reference

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