Submitted by vxl119 on
I need help building relationships with my peers.
My boss gave me the following feedback on my yearly review: "I would recommend Victor seek out more social opportunities to better 'connect' with more individuals on the larger team.“ To be specific, he is talking about things like hallway encounters and hanging out in the breakroom. I already make an active effort to connect with my current team through weekly lunches, so this is mainly addressing the rest of the extended team here, with whom I don’t interact as often.
I just picked up a project lead/manager role, with direct reports dangled in front of me later in the year. So, understandably, my boss is interested that I perform effectively in my future. Also, my boss is a high I, while I'm a high D/C. So, he is all about hanging out in the hallway and chatting.
I rarely have meetings with the extended team members. What am I missing? A "make an impression in the hallway" cast? :)
Thank you, Victor
Put a little "I" in your diet
It appears that your boss is telling you, however inadequately, that you need to behave more like a person who is a high I.
The reasons behind his saying this do not matter much. It could be that this is how he sees the world, or genuinely, that he believes you will be more effective if you demonstrate more High I behaviors and network more and better.
What matters is what it means for you in your role. First, and most importantly, your boss is saying you need to do it - so do it!
Also, it may be very good for your career. As you grow and add more directs, and get promoted, you will find that you are doing a lot more High I stuff in order to be effective. The High C/D people will be on your team, and you will be meeting others, schmoozing a little here and there because relationships are that glue that makes it all stick up at that level.
His request will likely make you a better manager.
Make It a Task
Make it a task on your to do list: "Get out and talk to..." Most times you will not _need_ anything. Just be intentional about getting out of your office to make a personal connection with people in your organization.
You say you are a high D/C...it probably makes you uncomfortable, you may be thinking "huh, what is the utility?"...nevertheless, as you get out and about folks will often ask questions in the hall that they may think did not deserve a call or email. The end result is helpful, serendipitous conversations with people throughout your organization.
Just make it a task and do it. Also, do not forget about Building Your Network.
Have lunch with them. Schedule it.
Make conversation. You should read a newspaper (online or paper), and know some current sports and pop culture stuff.
This is an under-appreciated podcast: http://www.manager-tools.com/2007/10/how-to-be-effective-in-everyday-conversations and it's well worth your time!
My plan so far
Thank you for the feedback so far. Here is what I'm currently planning to focus on:
- behave more like my boss around people
- use talk/phone as a first choice of contact with my extended peers
- make an effort to stop and talk as I pass people in the hallway
That was me not so long ago
The first thing I did that really helped me was to start using people's names. I never did, and just greeting people by name in the hallway made a big difference in how *I* approached them.
The next big thing I recommend is to read and practice the classic "How to Win Friends and Influence People". I would talk to you boss about taking one of the Dale Carnegie courses. I'm just completing one now and it's really helped me break out of my shell and actually communicate with people.
I hope you find that helpful.