Networking

by Heather White

Develop good relationships with your seniors

No matter what your level within your organisation, you need to have useful relationships with senior executives and, if you are at the top, with the stakeholders.

The trouble is not so much with those with whom you easily click, because that’s simple and often easy; it lies with those you don’t click with or rarely, if ever, meet face to face.

It is when we place a huge amount of importance or significance on a person or an event that the trouble starts. The greater the emphasis you place on the one event, the greater the likelihood that you will feel clumsy or awkward.

Let’s dispense with a myth. There is no such thing as a killer introduction – but there is such a thing as messing up the opportunity you have. Rarely will anyone be won over by a single act, unless it is simply brilliant. Most senior executives will look at you over a period of time, basing their ideas about you on other people’s opinions and your overall performance.

To get on with someone you don’t click with, you need to consider all the influencing people around them. So map out who influences this person as much as what influences them... and what impresses them.

  • Re-read the Soft skills section and see how you are doing.
  • Map out the contacts you have around this person and make sure they are tight.
  • Consider your personal brand and what this person knows about you.
  • Stay at the top level of performance.
  • Think long and hard about your added value to this person.
  • What you don’t know, you ask about.
Exercise

Now go and do that. For this to work, you must first do your research and then act upon what you discover.