Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Internal Networking

Liz Handlin at The Ultimate Resumes Blog had a great post last week about internal networking. So often we forget that spending time cultivating relationships with your co-workers is just as important as networking with clients, prospects and referral sources.

In Liz's post, "It's Not The Cake", she reminds us that while those constant in-office birthday cakes seem to be a distraction, it is not about going and eating store bought cake - "the get together is about building camaraderie with your co-workers".

She is right. The few minutes that it takes to go to the break room and wish someone a happy birthday is invaluable. If you are the person who always works through these mini-parties, you will develop the reputation of not viewing others as important. Like it or not, you will be seen as selfish. Yes, even if you are busy and have a deadline. Everyone can spare five minutes!

I recently heard a story from a guy, Billy, who volunteered to drive an unpopular co-worker to pick up her car at the mechanic. Since the woman had few friends in her office she was going to have to call a taxi. Being a nice guy, Billy stepped up. On the short drive, they talked and he got to know her a little better. The pay off was that then she considered him a friend (or at least friendly) and was a big help to him on future internal projects. Her knowledge was beneficial to his career, and she turned out to be a nice person.

Having internal relationships is important. Do you have a "best-friend" in the office. Someone whom you often go to lunch, grab coffee and share information (I do not mean "gossip")??? If not, you should find one. Offices where people have close bonds tend to be more productive and have lower turn-over. Be the person who instigates activities. Encourage your co-workers to develop friendships (with you and others).

Start today. It takes time and effort to make, build and keep your business relationships....and you need to do it internally and externally!

Have A Great Day.


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