Strong working relationships and a great career

Apr 21, 2020 |Posted by Jared Simmons | Coaching

When you’re trying to build strong working relationships, sharing what you are hoping to achieve and get out of the work can be extremely helpful. What you get out of work is different from the project or meeting objectives. It’s not your departmental or functional mandate. It’s the professional development nugget that comes along with the entire working experience.

Perhaps you’d like to show that you’re ready to lead a global project. Or that you can work well with colleagues outside of your department. Perhaps you’re interested in learning about another part of the business.

Talking about your professional development goals builds strong working relationships in three ways:

Establishes deeper levels of trust

Despite being personally motivated, professional development goals aren’t necessarily at odds with the goals of the team. I’m not suggesting that you start every meeting with a reminder that you’re trying to demonstrate that you can lead a global project. Mention your goals casually in one-on-one conversations to deepen trust. Sharing them this way can accelerate the growth of working relationships.

Makes communicating more efficient

Your colleagues aren’t used to conversations with this level of transparency. Sharing what you’re trying to accomplish can actually save them the effort of trying to figure out what your personal motives might be. Also, when you communicate openly and honestly it prompts others to do the same.

Uncovers new ways to work together

Talking about what you want to get out of your work experience can prompt others to think about how they can help you achieve your goals. Oftentimes, I leave a conversation with new ideas about how to approach things or a suggested connection that might help me as I try to develop in that area. Exposing your professional development intentions invites others in to help you find new approaches to explore that you might not have otherwise discovered.

Remember that openly sharing what you are hoping to get out of your work is the icing on the cake. Your first priority is always supporting your team and company objectives by successfully delivering what you were tasked to do. Without that, your professional development efforts may be over before they have even had the chance to begin.

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Jared Simmons

Jared is the founder of Outlast Consulting LLC, a consulting firm that helps individuals and organizations with strategy, process improvement, and professional development. He is an engineer by training with experience in market research, product development, innovation, management consulting, and strategic planning at P&G, McKinsey, and Coca-Cola.


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