Who Are Your People? How Building Your Network Can Help You Accomplish Your Goals
At the 2019 Global Leadership Summit in August, Jo Saxton, an author, speaker, and leadership coach, asked us, “Who are your people?” when she presented on how to “Level Up your Leadership”. As a new mom getting back into my professional groove and getting acquainted with a new client, I realized I needed my people more than ever. It got me thinking about how connections are crucial to moving forward, helping you recognize your strengths and move you closer to success.
While onboarding that new client, I realized something was missing—a connection. How do you create that connection with new clients? While I’m still trying to figure that out, here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:
- Be transparent and honest.
It’s okay to say “I don’t know” if you follow up with the right questions. I found ways to ask questions to committees and members that helped me gain a better understanding of their profession and their passion.
- Work together to solve a problem.
There’s something about “getting out of the trenches” together that builds a strong bond. Setting goals, putting together a process, and finalizing a project can help you gain the trust of your volunteers.
- Don’t be afraid to say “no” but back it up with data.
We all want to be liked by our client, but does saying “yes” all the time come with respect? If we’re saying “yes” to all our client’s needs, are we really being strategic and serving them in the best way possible? I’ve gained trust and respect from members by challenging their requests and backing it up with data to pivot their thoughts and help them seek a better direction.
Coming back to work after maternity leave was tough. But, what made each day better are the people I get to work with. I made new connections with colleagues because I was transparent about the transition, and WOAH! do people “get it.” We bonded over a common life-changing event, and it felt awesome to be understood.
Though others don’t define who you are, the connections you build along the way have an impact on how you perceive the world around you and the steps you take to move forward. Your people are your champions, problem solvers, and fellow collaborators.
Next time you ask yourself, “How can I move this project forward?”, first answer, “Who are the people who can help me achieve my goals?”
Caryn Odenbach is a membership and marketing manager at AMC.
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