At Perkins Williamson Associates we specialize in helping employees, managers, and leaders at all levels better understand the critical factors for career success. As you navigate your career during this coronavirus pandemic, you may wonder if the old rules still apply. For example, one of our “big 6” success factors is building and maintaining a robust network of relationships. In fact, we say emphatically “relationships make the world go ‘round!” Yet, is it a true statement in today’s climate of sheltering-in-place and working-from-home?” The answer is an emphatic “Yes!”
As you work from home and perhaps see your colleagues during frequent, infrequent, or non-existent virtual meetings, your ability to maintain critical relationships with your boss, peers, direct reports and colleagues has never been more important. Many companies have set up alternative methods for maintaining what used to be regular face-to-face contact. If your boss hasn’t instituted such a policy or approach, you will have to create your own methods for doing so.
Maintain Your Network. A network is simply a collection of relationships. Those relationships may include family, friends, current and former colleagues, current and former bosses, and anyone else with whom you have a connection. Mutual interests and common values typically cause us to add someone to our network. And a strong, robust network, similar to a garden or your favorite plant, requires consistent attention, feeding, and watering.
Your network as a competitive advantage is more important than ever during this time of the coronavirus pandemic and working from home. Your boss and your colleagues need to see and hear from you on a consistent, regular basis in a way that keeps you and your relationship top-of-mind. In the coming days, many leaders and owners may find themselves having to make difficult choices and decisions about the business and employees. The strength of your relationships will largely determine if you are the employee who goes or who stays. In fact, I have found relationships will often trump performance during this critical decision-making process.
Do This: Take a moment to jot down the five people in your organization most critical for your ongoing career success. Next, on a scale of 1-4 (1=a poor relationship and 4=a strong, positive relationship) indicate the strength of your relationship with each of these persons critical for your ongoing career success. Any relationship you are unable to give a rating of 3 or 4 is a critical, immediate area of concern and focus for you. Use this link https://perkwillassoc.com/author/addieperkinswilliamson/ to access one of our archival podcasts to determine your strategy for networking to build and maintain relationships critical for both your career and your sanity during this pandemic.