Have you recently started a new job?
You know you have the skills and the experience to succeed. You are excited at the opportunity to make an impact and also aware of the associated challenges. One of the biggest challenges is your lack of relationships at your new workplace. As a leader, you will need the support of people who do not report to you to succeed in your new role. These relationships get you the buy-in for your ideas, make collaboration possible, and make you look forward to kicking off your day every morning.
It is essential to be intentional about building relationships right from the beginning. As you get clarity about your role and the critical and immediate agenda you need to attend to, map out the people you will be working with. Knowing whose support you will need will help you chalk- out how to enlist that support.
While mapping the relationships you need to invest in, consider who are the decision makers and who are their influencers. This exercise will help you identify the informal channels of communication that coexist with the formal ones and can support or subvert the formally stated agenda.
Be curious about how your role’s purpose and specific assignments affect the people you will be working with. Getting support from colleagues who will benefit may be easy, but others may prefer to maintain the status quo. Consider what might help you build bridges with them and get their support.
You can seek your boss’s help to identify and connect you to the stakeholders you need to succeed in your role and proactively meet them. Try to understand what is important to them and how it relates to your organization’s agenda. Shared goals and vision are powerful ways to build support.
Co-creating solutions with colleagues also helps to get their buy-in and design better solutions.
As I coach executives, a common mistake I see them make is, adopting the same approach to convince everyone. Different people respond to different methods. You may be able to persuade some colleagues with logic, data, and analysis, whereas others may need to be drawn in with a softer or more emotional approach or alignment with a higher purpose, principle, or policy. Some people are quick decision-makers, while others need to chew on things for a while before making up their minds. It is crucial to come across as clear and action-oriented to the first category and give space to the other.
Finally, connecting with colleagues at a human level, getting to know them, collaborating, and offering to help, sharing the stage to celebrate wins, and acknowledging support are other subtle but important ways to build relationships and win support for your ideas.
PS – Are you in the process of settling down in your new job? I can help you strategize and be intentional about it. Book a complimentary meeting to discover how I can help.