Experts love talking about the benefits of effective networking and relationship management at the office to stay informed, build allies and grow your career. But most of them are clueless when it comes to teaching you the “how”.
The fact is, it’s deceptively simple!
Simple, because all you have to do is connect with people on an emotional level.
Deceptive, because … well … it’s not easy to “care” about other people.
But here’s why this is important – All the people we work with, no matter how professional or logical or high up the ladder they seem to be, make decisions (especially important ones) based on emotions of pride, vanity, jealousy, fear, optimism, confidence and friendship. Neuroscientists have proven that when it comes to decision-making, the brain unequivocally relies on emotion over intellect. Surely, you’ve heard of the “gut feeling…”
How do you leverage this knowledge to get ahead?
By getting personal with people at the office. Bond at an emotional level. Show interest in the well being of those you work with. Start with a simple “Hi. How is your day?”
Since their perception of you is driven by their feelings towards you, you can influence that perception by making them feel good about you. When you genuinely care about their well-being, you invariably get them to care about you. When they care about you, they will help you succeed.
A word of caution …
a) Don’t fake it. Take genuine interest in others and their lives. People are not idiots. They can tell when you’re being a self-centered, superficial asshole!
b) Keep in mind that it’s about THEM. Not you. Don’t use the emotional connection you form to dump all your problems on them.
Building relationships through emotional bonds, especially with those you work with, is a fundamental skill for career growth.
Why? Because everyone, even the part-time summer intern, can influence the path of your career. Manage the relationship and you manage their emotions. By managing their emotions, you manage how they influence your career.
― Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People