It’s important for a woman to leverage on relationships at the workplace because it’s a sine qua non for career growth and success. Success won’t happen overnight—that’s just wishful thinking, it would take doggedness, discipline, and deliberate steps taken on your part.
Eddie Cantor, popular American entertainer once said:
It takes 20 years to make an overnight success.
The concept of leveraging at the workplace or business circles is nothing new, it has been around for quite some time, but despite this, a lot of women don’t capitalise on, or embrace its many possibilities for career success. To them, it’s just one of those business lingos that should be heard but not explored.
So, for success at the workplace to emerge, how can women leverage on relationships?
Leverage by perception
Perception matters in life; the way you view something determines how much attention you will give to it. If you don’t think leveraging is that important then you are likely not to give it much thought or think of doing anything about it. So, it starts from your mindset.
Invest in you, of course—in your professional development and seek out diverse opportunities of skill-building. The more you learn; the more you grow and the more you will be taken seriously. And your value with your colleagues and organisation would be greatly enhanced.
Leverage on relationships by solving problems
You know those catchy slogans for some business services that are solution-oriented, they have slogans like, trust us to get the job done, or creating solutions that last… innovative solutions you can trust…we deliver solutions that work…
Well, you may not literally flash stuff like that in people’s faces at work, but for you to leverage on relationships and be successful, you need to let your colleagues and managers see that you are a problem solver; you can not only think on your feet, but see a challenge a mile away even before it surfaces —and yes, proffer a solution, too. Foreseeing a challenge would require you to think up at least 5 creative ways to tackle the problem before bringing it to the table.
So, roll up your sleeves and put your problem-solving skills to work. If you don’t have any of such skills—learn them.
Confidence is the game-changer
A woman exuding confidence at the workplace, is one of the most important factors in leveraging on relationships. I daresay, it’s a big game changer. Know what you want and know how to get it, without sacrificing integrity and poise, and this will ultimately lead to success and advancement at work.
Mentorship and sponsorship
Seek out mentors and sponsors, both male and female that can provide guidance, support and grant you access to opportunities and promotions. Mentorship can help you gain more insights from more experienced colleagues.
Develop leadership skills
Leadership is all about influence. If you want to be taken seriously, influence others positively and also leverage on relationships, then you need to develop leadership skills.
Share your views at meetings
The meeting room is not a place for you to be as quiet as a mouse. Speak up and contribute relevant ideas and insights. Sharing your knowledge can enhance your credibility and make you get noticed and selected as a team lead for top projects—and even get promoted.
Always maintain professionalism when interacting with your colleagues, superiors and clients. Meet deadlines, adhere to rules and regulations and don’t be slipshod with your work.
Recognise the efforts of others
By acknowledging and recognising the contributions of others you score a good one in their book. You also build and strengthen meaningful relationships at work.
So, at your workplace, be intentional and consistent in how you relate with others, and perform your duties and responsibilities—at times, go the extra mile, and you will yield successful results.
All the best!