Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Sharing insights and opportunities, part of Connecting with Peers in the Workplace (2014).
- Often times, building better rapport and connection is simply about sharing useful things with others that they didn't know. Some might be based on your expertise, which leads to different types of insights you might share with someone. Others might be actual bits of data you've become privy to that others simply don't know about. Whether it's based on your experience or your access to certain types of information, I can think of several things you might want to share with others. The first is the classic idea of coaching. This refers to your use of observation and advice to help someone improve themselves professionally.
Here's my advice for coaching. Always be looking for coaching moments but remember that overall, less is more. If you want your short, private coaching moments to have impact, they need to be thoughtful and infrequent. If you feel compelled to coach frequently, the recipient is either someone who needs too much help, and maybe shouldn't be in their current role, or the person doesn't need excessive coaching, and you just need to be more selective about when you choose to wear your coaching hat. But if you get it right, the right person, the right message, at the right time, that's when your insights not only help them grow professionally, but they also help you build a stronger connection with that person.
The next area to consider is key shifts coming in the near future. Whether based on your gut feeling or actual knowledge of pending change, there are several types to consider. For example, changes in fiscal policy, whether that's your team's budget or larger changes in the organization. Shifts in personnel policies or patterns. This might be driven by changes in strategy, fiscal problems, or maybe a merger or acquisition, or how about economic issues? Maybe there are clear trends in macroeconomic indicators that could affect your company or team.
If people aren't thinking about them, maybe they should be. There could also be shifts taking place in the industry that should be on people's radars, so they could be factored in where appropriate for decision making. This might include an important change in technology standardization or possibly changes in relevant government regulations. It doesn't matter which direction they come from, shifts in the landscape around your team can cause havoc. If you can talk about the ones you know and use your gut to predict a few as well, the team will thank you.
A third type of positive thing you might share with others doesn't involve your expertise, just your access to knowledge about certain opportunities. You might know something they don't know because of your different or elevated status, or just because you happen to have learned something they might be interested in. For example, training and development opportunities they might not be aware of, whether that's new classes opening up internally, online opportunities, conferences they might want to attend, or new policies about formal educational pursuits that might interest them.
Another possibility is new job openings that, based on your knowledge of their interests, they might find appealing. For example, you might have learned that someone unexpectedly left the company for another opportunity, and the job they left vacant might be highly appealing to one of your colleagues, or how about volunteer opportunities inside the company that you feel they might like, due to the types of tasks involved or due to networking opportunities, thanks to the other types of people who will be involved? Building stronger professional relationships has a lot do do with interpersonal savvy, but there's more to it.
Sometimes, it's as simple as offering advice when needed or insight to certain types of information when useful or simply making them aware of opportunities they have yet to hear about. When you're proactive in this manner, you'll build robust relationships with deep connection.