Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Reviewing where you stand and getting started, part of Connecting with Peers in the Workplace (2014).
- I've given you a lot of simple, useful ideas for making better connections with your peers. So, how do you move forward from here? I'd like to encourage you to begin by making a commitment to engage these types of behaviors, because it's the right thing to do, and because you want to. If you use these types of ingratiating behaviors in a cold attempt to win favor or gain points with someone, believe me, your behavior is likely to be viewed as insincere. That means you risk actually hurting your standing at work. Okay, now let's think about where you currently stand in terms of your connection with your colleagues.
This isn't a science, but you could begin to get a good feeling for where you are by thinking about the following issues. Relative to what you see happening among your peers, how often do the following happen to you? Your colleagues pull you aside to talk to you in confidence, telling you things that they ask not be shared with others. People come to seek your advice before making key decisions. Your teammates are sure to give you a heads up when needed and generally keep you in the loop if you've been out of the office. Without you prompting them, they advocate you and your work to others.
Finally, when you need the help, they don't hesitate to step up and make small sacrifices on your behalf. Now, if relative to others in the group, you're on the receiving end of these types of behaviors very often, well you're likely making strong productive connections with your colleagues. If, however, you're clearly not receiving these types of behaviors when others are, that suggests you have a growth opportunity. It does not simply mean you're a bad colleague or that there is something wrong with you. More likely, it means that you're super busy compared to most people, or that your personality leads you to interact with others less often.
That's okay. If your goal is to grow into leadership positions, or if you do truly care about maximizing the team as much as your own career, it's time to start paying attention to some of these behaviors that help you build deeper connections. Here's the good news. It won't cost you any money, it doesn't take much time, and it's not complex. You just have to be thoughtful and make it a priority to think outward about these types of possibilities with your colleagues as much as you think inward about your own work.
Use this course as a place to start, and don't forget, that no matter what your personality, the things we've been talking about are best viewed as straight forward skills anyone can learn. So start now and soon enough, you'll move past being merely productive with others, you'll learn to make a connection.