Relationships are essential to personal and professional development. Healthy relationships allow you to give and receive support. Relationships may vary with family, friends, work, support groups, or community, but each relationship should provide and invite some form of support.
Healthy relationships support mutual growth. Each time you communicate with someone is an opportunity to learn, ask questions, create opportunities for sharing knowledge, and listen to responses and ideas of others. Professional relationships grow when questions are asked and support is given. The questions you ask your manager and the support you seek and share will differ from that between coworkers, but each is important to your career success and growth.
During an interview with Joan Burge, she said, “make sure you build a good network of friends and a support group. We cannot do life alone. I have all kinds of friends (professional and personal) who I can call on at any time. That is because, for years, I have reached out to others. I have been open to meeting people and getting to know them. In turn, they want to know me.”
Creating opportunities to communicate is a positive aspect of professional development. Asking questions while attending current meetings is one way to connect with others. Organizing additional opportunities is another. Even with scheduling conflicts and other challenges, organizing meetings for your department, peers, and manager is essential to productivity and career development. Setting performance goals that encourage conversations, sharing best practices, and learning about other job responsibilities will not only support a positive environment but will also create partnerships with others.
I set goals to support different relationships within my circle. It can range from lunch with a friend to setting a quarterly meeting with coworkers to learn more about their current projects and share mine to see how we might support one another. Stepping outside your comfort zone and connecting with others, asking questions, and listening to their ideas is highly encouraged every opportunity you can do so.
When attending a workshop, internal or external training opportunity or conference set a goal to connect with at least five other people and ask questions such as:
- What are some of your best practices for your current position?
- What does a typical morning look like for you?
- How do you organize your schedule and set priorities?
- What is your best practice for project management and meeting deadlines?
Additional tips and definitions for my self-defined enrichment areas are included in my Enrichment planner. I’m so excited and grateful that the planner will be officially released and available at The Conference for Administrative Excellence. A limited number of copies will be for sale at the Success Store during conference breaks and additional copies available via my Success Encourager blog. The conference success store has so many resources including blank journals and books by Joan Burge and others; it is worth a visit (or three)!
If you are attending the conference this year, I hope you can pop in for the pre-conference empowering networking session with me and join other attendees Tuesday, October 15 between 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm (drop-in for a few minutes or stay the full hour) for discussion, conference Q & A, small group mingling or to just say hello! Remember – The conference reception and registration begin at 6:00 pm where the networking will continue! We will be in the seating area in between the grand staircases, past the front lobby registration area, by the lobby lounge. Additional information and more networking tips are included in my Empowering Networking Opportunities post.
What are some questions you ask when making a new professional contact?
Dana Buchanan has 20 plus years of administrative professional experience with a passion for writing that offers a unique and professional perspective on a variety of projects. She enjoys sharing what she has learned from work experience, conferences, workshops, and other professional and personal development opportunities. Her blog topics include interviewing tips, career best practices, evaluation outlines, and the importance of self-care and goal-setting. Dana is available to speak to small groups & coordinates workshops to encourage others by sharing professional and personal enrichment tips and goal-setting action plans. She recently published a goal-focused journal guide and creating additional versions that will be available soon.
You can discover new & archived posts by following Dana’s blog at Success Encourager and connect via Instagram (successencourager) to discover more tips and encouraging quotes.