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How to Build Real Relationships at Work

Doing your job is only part of your job. The rest boils down to being seen, heard and known – none of which would be possible without a strong relationship. But hybrid offices make building relationships more awkward than ever. In this article, the author offers helpful advice on how to spark conversations in the office — and how to build on those conversations when you see the same person again. As he writes, “Breaking the silence is the hardest step because it’s the most prone to overthinking: Am I disturbing this person? A voice in our head asks. What would this person think of me? Another voice wonder. What did I even say? A third voice added. Soon after, doubts floated Out of the water, opportunity slips away. The easier it is for us to break the silence, the more likely we are to do so. The good news is that the opportunity to turn strangers into adults is all around us, all the time.”

Would you be embarrassed to walk into the office? Possibly — especially if you’ve been working remotely or find yourself surrounded by more empty desks and chairs than staff. If anything, the experience will start to feel a lot like the first day of school, but every day: Where should I sit? what did i say? How do I make friends? If you are an introvert or new to your organization, especially if all of your other colleagues already know each other on three fronts, building professional relationships may People feel more overwhelmed. But, as I learned from interviewing more than 500 professionals across industries and different job types for my book Unspoken Rules, building relationships in a hybrid environment is more difficult than looking at It’s easier to get up. It all starts with breaking down the overwhelming and unhelpful advice of “put yourself out there!” Break into smaller steps that anyone can take:

STEP #1: Break the silence

This is the hardest step because it is the most prone to overthinking: Am I bothering this person? asked a voice in our heads. What would this person think of me? Another sonic wonder. What did I even say? A third voice added. Before long, doubts surfaced and opportunities slipped away. The easier it is for us to break the silence, the more likely we are to do so. The good news is that the opportunity to turn strangers into adults is all around us, all the time.

  • On a computer with “Hotel” or “Desk Rounding” mode Office work, where employees can choose where they sit? Try to place yourself near high-traffic areas such as entrances, meeting rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms. Doing this makes it easier for you to meet people, make eye contact, nod, smile, say “hi” or “good morning,” and that’s where a relationship starts.

    Invited to a conference, town hall, happy hour or event? Try showing up a minute early, stand or sit next to a stranger who doesn’t seem busy, make eye contact, extend a hand, and say, “Hey, I don’t think we’ve met. I’m _______. Nice to meet you!”

    Just finished the meeting? Overcome the urge to rush out immediately and instead approach someone and drop “I am _______” followed by “Like your comment on _______.”

  • On a business trip? Try asking, “Would anyone like to carpool?” and use the carpool time to spark conversations.
  • Is there some preparation time before entering the office? Try messaging a colleague you only know online and say, “I’ll be in the office tomorrow. If you’re around, I’d love to add a face to the name!”

These opportunities are not just strategies for introverts or shy people. They are the secrets of the most effective relationship builders. Look around before your next meeting, and you’ll quickly realize that, for example, while some people are engrossed in their phones, it’s also when others start building relationships.

Step #2: Change “Hi” to “Hi again”.

It’s always uncomfortable to do anything for the first time. The second time is always easier. If you say “hi” to a stranger, you’ve gotten over the most embarrassing step—and allow yourself to say “hi” again. This is your chance to turn acquaintances into allies.

      Did you go back to your computer? Consider sending an email that reads: “Thanks for the interesting conversation. Loved we all ___. Looking forward to crossing again and hopefully working together soon.” Saw them in the hallway again? Smile and say “Hi again!” Then follow up on anything you discuss, whether it’s “Wedding How’s it going?” or “How’s the presentation going?”

in See them in a group call? Message them with “Nice to see you again,” or send them an encouraging DM if they’re confused about their words.

Encountered information that might be relevant to them? Retweet a website, email, podcast, video, article or white paper with “I just saw this and was reminded of our conversation about _______.”

  • Find opportunities they might be interested in? Share with “I was invited to this event and thought of you.” Check it out if you’re interested. “
  • Know two people who can help each other? By saying: ” Have you ever seen _______? She is also ___. Let me know if the chat helps and I can ask her if she’s interested. ”

    Step 3: Change “Hi again” to “Let’s chat”.

    You Most of the people you meet professionally will be acquaintances. It’s only natural. After all, we only have so many hours in a day and so many relationships at a time. But when we meet a few steps ahead of us and When there is a special minority eager to pay the price, we have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and avoid their mistakes. Here are four options for turning allies into mentors:

  • Need a second opinion? Try asking for their opinion , saying, “I Studying _______ and would love your opinion on _______ because you are an expert in _______. “
  • Not sure which way to go? Try soliciting their Suggestion , saying, “I’m trying to _______ and would like your suggestion for _______. Can you have a few minutes to chat? ” Interested in following in their footsteps? Try asking their Story , saying: “I would love to follow in your footsteps because _______. Can you have a few minutes to chat? I am free at the following times…”

    engaged in a Project expertise where interests and interests overlap? Try asking about their involvement , saying, “I’m hiring a consultant to guide the direction of _______. I immediately thought of you. ”

    Step 4: Change “Let’s Chat” to “Let’s Build Relationship”.

    Some of the people you will meet will become “mentors” who offer advice. Others will become “sponsors” who open doors. This person has the power to invite you to closed-door meetings, pull you into high-profile projects, or even provide Your promotion preaches. Know a veteran who seems invested in you and your career?

        First, try to share your goals . For example, “When I think about who I want to be in five years, I Would love to follow in your footsteps and _______. What advice do you have on what I should start, stop, and continue to do to get there? ”

      Next, try to share your progress . For example, “I just did a performance review and wanted to let you know that it ended up being accurate about what we predicted and discussed. My manager told me _______. Next quarter, I plan to _________. No reply – I just wanted to keep you updated and thank you for your _______. ”

    • In the process, try to share some of your struggles and . For example, “I am reflecting on _______ and feel that I could have done better with _______. Am I thinking about this the right way, or if you were in my position, what would you do differently? “

    … As the son of a single immigrant mother working in a sewing factory, I was always told to keep my head down and let me But after separating the professionals who build fulfilling careers from those who stumbled for no reason, I now see it differently: in the corporate world, doing your job is only part of your job. The rest It comes down to being seen, heard and known – none of which is possible without a strong relationship. While not every relationship you inspire will lead to a long-term relationship, At least you’ll have another friendly face at your next meeting, another person to help with your ideas, and another person to call on when needed. Make your next office visit more than just a commute.



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