The Insider

The Insider's Guide To Job Search

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It's All About Relationships – The Human Connection
By Kevin T. Buckley, CPC

As recruiters, we have people coming to us on a daily basis telling us about their frustrations in the workplace.
These range from being passed over for promotions, difficulties with superiors and coworkers, not receiving salary increases and feeling underappreciated. Not to mention being terminated.

There is a lot of emphasis placed upon gaining industry experience and education, and the majority of people coming to us are ambitious and want to progress in their careers. They feel that they have put in the efforts, made the necessary sacrifices and are puzzled that they are not receiving the recognition that they feel they deserve. Or, they feel victimized by others.

One key issue that they tend to overlook is the ability to nurture and build relationships effectively with superiors, colleagues and customers. In their zeal to succeed, along the way they forget that interpersonal and communications skills are one of the most important abilities that hiring managers consider when reviewing somebody for promotion.

From our perspective, we see that it isn't the most educated, technically knowledgeable or experienced person that managers choose for promotion. Often, it is the person who is most successful at developing relationships with people that they work with who get ahead.

Our educational institutions provide tools and techniques for learning information, processing it and applying that knowledge in a business context. People leave school with their heads full of facts which they are eager  to use in their chosen careers. So much emphasis is placed on making it in a competitive business world and surviving because "it's a jungle out there".

When people reach the marketplace they find that they are ill-equipped to interact with the people that they work with. There is a lack of awareness of what other people's needs are and this can result in developing a certain insensitivity in their dealings with others.

The Keyword is Connection:

Beyond the industry buzzwords and the business persona that we project we are all human beings with desire to be and to feel validated. Recognizing another person's worth and making a sincere effort to make that human connection forges trust and mutual confidence and respect.

People gravitate towards those with whom they feel connected. You want to help people that you like. You are willing to support and encourage people who show you respect and sincere admiration. Senior managers mentor people who are successful in building a relationship with them. Co-workers will extend help to people who are genuinely interested in what they have to say.

People to one degree or another possess a sixth sense which allows them to receive impressions about a person's character. That old expression about first impressions counting holds true in the workplace. Customers enjoy working with people who take their needs seriously and who are willing to do whatever it takes  to solve their problems.

Overly ambitious people who eagerly step over others or cross political lines in their desire to impress their superiors or get what they want often end up being terminated because of the conflicts that they become involved in.
Instead of building friendships as they move upward, they make enemies and when they most need support and  assistance they find that their single minded focus on their own success has caused them to become isolated.

If you make a sincere effort to make that human connection with the people in your business life, you will find that doors of opportunity will open for you. The decision to promote someone is made easier when your superior sees you as somebody whom other people can work with. Practice relationship building and apart from the payoff in
career progress that you will experience comes the satisfaction of knowing that you have developed loyal and trustworthy associates who care about your success.

Mistakes People Make That Affect Their Progress:

Making your supervisor angry

Thinking that you are protected by your boss and can't be fired

Turning colleagues off through indulging in gossip

Trying to and initiating change aggressively

Starting an email campaign

Being difficult to manage

Trying to have them do it your way

Taking a holier than thou attitude towards management mis-steps

Getting involved or caught between office politics

Having a know-it-all attitude

Showing impatience with your trainer

Treating other managers with contempt or disrespect

Complaining about management to other management

Exposing your manager or another manager as incompetent
or small-minded

Getting in between two managers who don't like each other


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