Skill Level Appropriate for all
- One of my favorite quotes about the importance of building a strong network of relationships in professional life is from Woodrow Wilson. He was the President of the United States during World War One, and he said, with a touch of humor, "I use not only all the brains that I have, "but all I can borrow." So he was aware of the multiplier effect of having a strong relationship network. And that's what we're going to talk about today, in fact, specifically focusing in on how can I build more relationships with people who are senior to me who don't know me? Now, when I say senior, who does that refer to? Well, these people can be older than you, and that's fine, but they don't have to be.
What we're talking about is people who have more experience in ways that's relevant to you. And, they typically have more status, power, authority, decision-making capability, and so forth. So those are the senior folks that we're talking about. And why is it so important for us to focus on this? Well, first of all, what Woodrow Wilson had in mind at the beginning of last century has been validated firmly in research in recent decades. And that is that people with stronger relationship networks tend to be more successful in their jobs and in their careers.
They tend to get more promotions. They tend to get more job opportunities. They tend to get more desirable projects and initiatives. And it's not only their success when it comes to job performance and career advancement. They're also happier and healthier on the whole. Just about anything that you can measure when it comes to success factors in professional life gets better with better relationships. In addition to that, it's important to focus on that segment as we are today of your relationship network that is senior people.
And why? Because, all things considered, they tend to have more influence, more power, more ability to open doors, make introductions, give you good advice, mentoring, and so forth. That senior part of your network is crucially important. Now, it can be very challenging to connect with senior people because they have tremendous demands on their time. And that's even if, we're talking about people that you already know. It's even more challenging for a lot of us to connect with people who are senior who we don't know.
And indeed, that's the challenge that we're going to rise to today in talking about how to do that. So, in terms of an overview, I want to cover, first of all, a common concern that comes up when we're talking about connecting with senior people. Then I want to introduce to you three key principles about how to guide your actions when making connections with senior folks. And then finally, we'll talk about specific action steps that you can take before, during, and after meeting with senior people.