When you're trying to be successful in your career, it's not enough to simply show up, work hard and persevere. It's not enough to take risks, think outside the box, or be innovative.
There's an essential part of work that must be mastered if you want to achieve a high level of achievement. Without it, success will be elusive. What I'm talking about is the ability to get along with other people.
Whether you're one of hundreds in a crowded workplace or part of a very small team, how you interact with those around you is a crucial part of your success story.
Even if you work alone, you're still going to have to interact successfully with other people, if you want to achieve your goals.
The interpersonal component can make or break even the most promising career.
Being talented, driven, confident, curious, creative, courageous and ambitious are all necessities if you want to be a success in any field, but they're not enough. The interpersonal component can make or break even the most promising career.
The bottom line is that if you don't know how to relate to other people it will be difficult, if not impossible, to succeed in your career.
Studies have shown that people who have a high degree of emotional intelligence are more successful than those who don't, and that the higher up the person is in their organization, the more crucial this is.
One major aspect of emotional intelligence is the ability to forge strong alliances with others, within companies and between organizations.
When you create strong connections with other people at work, you create win-win situations in which everyone benefits; you learn and grow from each-other and you support each-other in creating mutual success.
On the other hand, when you can't connect with people, the truth is that no matter how smart or talented you are, it's more likely that someone else will be assigned the interesting and important projects, that you'll be passed up for a promotion or maybe even let go.
Individuals and businesses value personal loyalty, and will reward it with a raise, a contract or a promotion. They value a good attitude, a pleasant demeanor and a willingness to be helpful. These simple attributes will enable you to take your career to the next level.
Even if you're not at high up in your field, being able to connect with your colleagues is essential if you want to advance as opposed to move backward.
Making positive connections with the people at work gives you other advantages: people will tell you all sorts of things, so you'll have access to information that will enable you to be more strategic.
As well, with good work connections, people will vouch for you if a problem arises and you'll develop a reputation as a team player and collaborator, so others will trust you more and in a pinch, they'll give you the benefit of the doubt.
Having good connections at work will make people choose you to work on their teams and to take on more responsibility; it will give you so many more opportunities.
Being seen as someone who gets along with their co-workers will enable your supervisors to believe in you. People who are more isolated in the workplace don't inspire the same confidence as those who have strong social connections at work.
It's not that you should be using your workplace as the source of your friendships, but that you should recognize the importance of establishing positive and supportive professional connections.
Just the other day, I was speaking with a potential guest for my podcast series, and she complimented me on how pleasant and agreeable my assistant was. In this case, my assistant's ability to connect reflected well on both her and me.
Having good connections at work makes the days more pleasant. It's always more enjoyable to have people to chat with on your breaks. The days go by more quickly when you feel a sense of connection at work.
Good work connections will also protect you. If your boss is angry at you, others will come to your defense; if you make a mistake, they'll stand up for you, and if you want to advance, they'll speak positively on your behalf.
Good connections have no downside and multiple benefits. So, if you're hoping to be successful in your career, you should never underestimate the importance of this aspect of emotional intelligence at work.
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