Executives, middle mangers and frontline personnel, across industries and boarders, ask me essentially the same two questions:
What do I do and when do I do it?
What do I say and when do I say it?
Creating personal and professional success boils down to getting these two questions right.
While your education, training, experience and skills many help you do and say some of the right things, getting what you desire often depends on one’s relational know-how.
Here are three basic relational preparedness tips:
- Curate the question: If you wait until the prize is offered you’ll be battling the pack. If you want an internship with the greatest company on earth next summer; identify people already working there this summer, engage with them now and position yourself as the obvious answer to the question they haven’t yet asked.
- People plan. Decisions aren’t made in a vacuum and vacuums don’t make decisions—people do! Align what you want with the wants and desires of the decision makers.
- Make human connections. Don’t just identify who is making the decision, find out who the decision marker IS as a person and connect with them on a personal level.
If these tips seem in anyway manipulative, you’ve missed the point.
The relational approach is not about falsely changing the minds of others, the approach is about truly changing the way you think about yourself and what you have to offer.
Doing your relational homework, knowing what motivates others and who they really are, can help you do/say what needs to be done/said and the insights you’ll need to do/say it at the right time.
Assuming you are putting your commitments to physical fitness, that new diet and shedding a bad habit of yours at the top of your 2015 resolutions list, I’m offering a challenge for the #4 spot –REIGNITING ONCE SOLID RELATIONSHIPS.
While Capital One credit card wants you to feel the joy this holiday season and spend freely by asking, “What’s in your wallet?”
I’m asking you a different question, “What’s IN your wallet of personal and professional opportunity for 2015?”
After you’ve spent some hard won capital on a few priceless gifts for your loved ones, why not invest a little of your downtime building up your social capital?
And you’ll see the returns right away!
- We never know who, when, where or what will be the source of your next big break. More often than not, big opportunities come from people and places you hadn’t anticipated. For example:
- The BIG BREAK in my career came from a friend halfway across the country (thank you Melanie, you changed my life),
- I’m currently working on a significant business venture brought to my attention by someone that once attended one of my talks (thank you Melissa, looking forward to an amazing ride),
- None of this opportunity would have been possible without one man taking the chance on an upstart like me (thank you Rick, your example and your trust have made all the difference).
- Each of us has great relationships we’ve taken for granted. Right now, I’m sure you can think of a few people with whom you were once close but, for whatever reason, you’ve stopped engaging,
- The more people that know who you are, what you want, what you are capable of and care about you – the more opportunity will present itself. MAKE SENSE?
So, let’s start the year off right by RECONNECTING!THE CHALLENGE
- Make a short list of 10 or so people with whom you once had a solid relationship but haven’t connected with in a while (THINK: old friends, long-lost family members, co-workers, clients, etc.)
- Write up a short message (3 or 4 sentences) to send to each of them (i.e. “…I was thinking about you and realized it’s been a while since we’ve connected. Don’t want to make that mistake in 2015!…)
- Send the messages as TEXTS on New Year’s Day… (Still the holiday but people will be thinking about the future and getting ready to return to the grind – a perfect day for reconnecting)
SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE!I really want to hear what happened with you! How many responses did you get? Any surprises?There’s a whole group of us that will be sending messages right along with you – so, we can experience and learn together and FOR ONCE, WE CAN KEEP A NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION!
Special Note of Thanks
With 2014 fast coming to a close, this will be the last blog of the year. We have some great surprises for you in 2015, including opportunities to get your thoughts published here, or as an article, or even a book – as we introduce the Relational Sciences Institute, the first-of-its-kind crowd-sourced research group.
Wishing you and yours health, happiness and lots of laughter!Stay connected.