Most relationships do not have a particular purpose – people spend time together either because they want to, or because they’ve been thrown together. A strategic relationship is different. This type of relationship is mutually beneficial for both parties’ personal development, and focuses on the long-term goals of each person.
Developing A Strategic Relationship
- Set your priorities / goals
- Identify candidates & determine what you have to offer each other
- Determine how many strategic relationships you can maintain
- Choose relationships to pursue
Setting your priorities requires thinking about your big goals and working backwards from there. What do you want to accomplish this year? In the next few years? In this current position? With your personal development?
To identify the people you may be able to build a mutually beneficial relationship with, do some research and see what you have to offer each other. This type of relationship is not about only what you can get from them. That is not a relationship at all. Do your homework and think about the skills, resources, or networks you could offer someone else to build their personal development.
Once you’ve identified potential candidates, you may have to reduce the list to only the number of relationships you have time to maintain. It is much better to have three close relationships than to have ten acquaintances.
After the planning stages are done, you will be ready to begin developing closer relationships with those you’ve chosen. Remember, relationships are about “give and get” – and the “give” comes first.
Looking for more tips on how to build long-lasting relationships at work? Check out our competency guide.
This video is the first of four in the “Building Strategic Relationships” course, which covers planning, launching, and expanding on the valuable connections you’ve created.
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