Network Internally…It can Pay-off!

Just about everyone who works in the world of business has a need to connect with others inside their organization. It doesn’t matter if you work for a large or small organization; for a for-profit or a non-profit; or a governmental agency or the private sector—wherever you are, having strong relationships with co-workers is critical to success!

Most professionals focus most of their energy externally (and that certainly is important) but we believe developing relationships internally is equally important to success in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace.

Developing strong internal relationships takes some work but can pay off in many ways including making you more productive! Isn’t it easier to make a request of a colleague when you know a little bit about that person or when you’ve just had coffee with them last week? Think about how you can develop strong internal relationships with your co-workers. Here are some ideas:

  • Network internally—build relationships with colleagues outside your area of expertise. For example, if you are in finance, get to know the business development staff or the human resources team.
  • Be credible and build trust—act with integrity and honesty at all times. This means keeping commitments—in other words, doing what you say you will do—when you say you will do it!
  • Find a mentor who is not in your field. If you are in the HR department, maybe you would like a mentor from operations. Working with a mentor is a great way to build internal relationships.
  • Be a good listener and ask good questions. Invite people from other departments for lunch and ask them how they came to work for your organization. Ask open ended questions and express sincere interest in the other person!
  • Volunteer for cross functional task force or rotational assignments. What a great way to learn more about other people and functions while working alongside to solve a problem or issue.
  • Model excellent customer service (and satisfaction) inside and outside. This goes hand in hand with being credible and building trust. Go above and beyond to meet the needs of others to show your commitment to the organization’s success.
  • Confront conflicting views—don’t run away from conflict but work to mitigate issues that create conflict in your organization. A lot of learning comes from resolving conflict!
  • Be an influence for positive change. Be open to new ideas and welcome input from others in your organization.
  • Understand and support your organization’s culture. Be a positive force in your organization to support your mission, vision and organizational values!
  • Recognize and address changes in the business climate and provide value-added responses. Keep current in your field and in your business sector so that you can be prepared for coming changes in your marketplace! You know they’re coming!

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