Building meaningful relationships in the professional world
As a LadyBoss, you know that building meaningful relationships in the professional world is essential to your success. But how do you do it? How do you make sure that your connections are more than just superficial exchanges of business cards? How do you cultivate relationships that can help you advance your career, find new opportunities, and achieve your goals?
Let me share with you a story of my own experience with building meaningful relationships in the professional world. When I was just starting out in my career, I attended a conference and met a woman named Sarah. We struck up a conversation about our shared interests and goals, and I was impressed by her knowledge and experience. We exchanged business cards and said we would keep in touch, but I didn’t think much of it at the time.
Over the next few months, I kept in touch with Sarah via email, sharing industry news and updates. We eventually met up again at another conference, and this time, Sarah introduced me to one of her colleagues who was looking for someone with my skills. Long story short, I ended up getting a job offer from that colleague, and it was all thanks to the meaningful relationship I had built with Sarah.
So, how can you build meaningful relationships like the one I had with Sarah? Here are some tips and techniques:
Be genuine: Being genuine means being true to yourself and your values. It’s about being authentic and not trying to be someone you’re not. People can sense when you’re being disingenuous, and it can create a barrier to building a meaningful relationship. For example, if you’re at a networking event and you meet someone who works in a different industry than you, don’t pretend to know more about their field than you do. Instead, be honest about your level of knowledge and ask them to explain more to you.
Listen actively: Active listening means giving your full attention to the person who is speaking. It involves not only hearing what they’re saying but also understanding the meaning behind their words. When you actively listen, you show the person that you value their ideas and experiences. For instance, if you’re in a meeting with a colleague who is sharing a new idea, give them your full attention, and ask questions to clarify their points.
Show empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. When you show empathy, you create a connection with the other person, and they feel heard and understood. For example, if a co-worker is going through a difficult time, show empathy by acknowledging their feelings and offering support. You could say something like, “I’m sorry to hear that you’re going through a tough time. Is there anything I can do to help?”
Find common ground: Finding common ground is about identifying shared interests, goals, or experiences that you can connect over. This can help to build a strong foundation for a meaningful relationship. For example, if you’re at a networking event, and you meet someone who went to the same university as you, talk about your shared experiences and memories. Or if you’re working on a project with a colleague, find common ground by identifying shared goals and working together to achieve them.
Follow up: Following up is an essential part of building a meaningful relationship. It shows that you value the connection you’ve made and that you’re committed to keeping in touch. For example, if you meet someone at a conference and exchange business cards, send them a follow-up email within a few days to thank them for the conversation and to express your interest in staying in touch. Keep the conversation going by sharing updates and news that you think they might be interested in.
Building meaningful relationships in the professional world is crucial for success in any field. Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned professional, making connections with others can lead to valuable opportunities and collaborations.
Here are 13 tips for building meaningful relationships in the professional world:
- Attend networking events: Attend events related to your industry or interests to meet new people and expand your network.
- Be helpful: Offer your help and expertise to others when possible.
- Be respectful: Treat others with respect and kindness, even if they can’t offer you immediate benefits.
- Connect on social media: Connect with people you meet on social media to stay in touch and stay updated on their work.
- Attend conferences: Attend industry conferences to learn from experts in your field and meet new people.
- Volunteer: Volunteer your time for events or organizations related to your industry to meet like-minded individuals.
- Join professional organizations: Join industry-related professional organizations to expand your network and learn from others.
- Take a genuine interest: Take a genuine interest in the people you meet and their work.
- Give referrals: If you know someone who could benefit from another person’s services or expertise, refer them.
- Host events: Host events or gatherings to bring people together and facilitate connections.
- Be proactive: Take the initiative to reach out to people and suggest collaborations or projects.
- Be patient: Building meaningful relationships takes time, so be patient and persistent.
- Follow up again: Don’t be afraid to follow up again after some time has passed to see how someone is doing and how you can help each other.
By using these techniques, you can build meaningful relationships in the professional world that can help you succeed in your career and achieve your goals. Remember, it’s not just about what you know, but who you know, and how well you can work together. So, go out there and start building those connections!