Thursday, December 29, 2011

Are You a Wall or a Bridge Builder?

Humans can be quite territorial and naturally react with some covert or overt hostilities when their personal boundaries are threatened or crossed whether wittingly or unwittingly. Because those boundaries are invisible, they get threatened or crossed all the time. Some people are more tolerant than others or better at communicating their boundaries. Those who are intolerant or poor at communicating tend to polarize people into those who are "with me" and those who are "against me."

Very few people succeed by building walls around them. The real key is building bridges with people or in simpler terms, relationship building.

As a professional interested in career success, it is important that you recognize the importance of building relationship with your boss, your peers, your subordinate and your customers. It also helps to build a strong and growing network of friends outside of your organization because your social network can open the gates to bigger and better opportunities. By offering to help instead of waiting for one and getting disappointed, you invest in strengthening relationships with others.

It's easy to spot a person who has mastered relationship building. Make this your checklist:

  • they are more trusting of others and in return, they are easy to trust;
  • they have no enemies nor hold secret grudges;
  • they serve as organizational glue that unite people rather than segregate or divide them;
  • they're not bullies;
  • they are easy to work with because they openly embrace diversity and choose to deal with people in a positive manner;
  • they listen and truly appreciate feedback without compromising their values; and
  •  they are both humble and confident enough to accept need to change and then change.

It's amazing how easy it is for us to describe  the kinds of person we like to be with or work with and yet a lot of us can't commit to being that person to others. You know why? Being that person requires a lot of humility, confidence, willingness to trust and risk taking with people. A lot of us just feel too naked without those walls around us. For those who choose to build bridges rather than walls, the opportunities for growth and mobility is just endless because they establish excellent personal brand.

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