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