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What Top Leaders Do Best

Think of all the incredible leaders you know? Make a list. What do they do best? What competencies do they have?

Following a meeting with a manager this morning inspired me to write this post about how to build relationships. Being that Christmas is just round the corner…..so another question for you:

How may the annual office Christmas party be important to your career?
As part of their advancement up the career ladder top leaders have mastered competencies required for Relationship Management. What has become very prevalent is that while you may be hired for your IQ, you can get fired for your EQ. EQ or Emotional Intelligence can make the big difference between you being highly intelligent and a very average manager, to a top leader that excels in work and in life. If you are interested in EQ then get familiar with Dr Daniel Goldman who is very well known for his work on EQ. In his theory of EQ Relational Management is a key domain to be mastered.

Have you thought about where you want to be in the next few years?

Building relationships with the right people at work can be instrumental for your career advancement . The annual Christmas party (if you have not had yours yet) is the ideal place for doing this.

Probably all the managers who need to know about you - who you are, what you are doing, what your value is - will be there. This doesn’t mean you need to go up to them and talk about yourself. In fact in the meeting I had with my client now he felt that he was not comfortable going up to senior managers in different divisions and chatting with to them about himself - he had the paradigm that maybe he would be boring to them. So lets be creative, and do some planning - another 2 important leadership skills.

Here are a few things to think about before your annual Christmas party or any event where you can build relationships with key stakeholders:

So you are going to your annual office party…

1. Make a list of who you would like to speak to (who you want to build a relationship with)

If you had the courage who would you want to speak with? - managers that you usually don’t speak with perhaps and are strategically important because of the division they are in, or the role they have or the role you are looking to play next. Perhaps it is someone you admire that can maybe help you move ahead if you got closer to him/her?
2. What do you want to ask or share?

Is there a new product or release to discuss or ask about? What recent change/improvement/innovation interests you that you can ask about?

  • Be prepared with a question/s you can ask
  • Be genuine - Ask about something that really interests you and you assume that manager too. Think about different options per manager. Maybe one of the managers can be congratulated about something - and then think of a question to add to this like - How did you manage to deliver on time, or What were your challenges there?
  • Really listen - Everyone appreciates to be listened to
  • Be Curious around what you are being told.
3. How would you like to end the conversation?

Think about the next step after the party and how you want to request it?
Would you like to ask to meet with the manager for lunch, or if you can pop into their office to chat about _________?
These are 2 informal options.

If you believe the manager has more of a formal approach then ask - Can I email you or your secretary for an appointment as I would really like to discuss something with you.

4. What else? Do you need to practice in front of a friend, the mirror? What else do you need to make this happen? Do you want to ask another manager to introduce you?

What other opportunities do you have to build relationships? There are many. Sit down and think about who are key stakeholders who could greatly influence your advancement? Then think about what you want to ask that person about and what is the best way to reach out to having a formal or informal meeting with them. Following this its all about what the next action is in nurturing that relationship. Above all be authentic .

Good Luck and Happy Holidays

For a complementary Skype session to explore how you can best build relationships please be in contact.


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