How are you cultivating strategic connections in the workplace? It's so necessary if your goal is to transition within (or out of) an organization. I believe there are 4 key levels of support. I use a map to help me identify who is in my network and a pyramid to categorize where people are and where I need more support.
Support is an essential element of success. Every win I’ve celebrated, lesson I’ve learned and challenge I’ve overcome has been coupled with the assistance of other people.
In every area of my life, I’ve been so fortunate to have an AMAZING support system! These people are essential for personal and professional development - from providing the lift to your next opportunity to sharing the load of your present obstacle and ensuring that in either circumstance, YOU SUCCEED!
Often times, we are unaware of the type of support that surrounds us. This can lead to unmet expectations, when in actuality we’ve incorrectly categorized someone’s support.
So what makes a strong support system? Hear me well…
The most indisputable sign of support is investment. Monetary investment is often the initial thought when we hear this word, but when it comes to a supportive network, time and talent investments are equally important. You may sometimes wonder if someone you know really supports you. Want to know a sure sign? Investment makes the difference in what I call the pyramid levels of support.
Ensuring you have properly identified and have breadth at each level is my definition of a strong support system. When someone truly supports your career/a cause/the ministry/you, there is no question because they invest their time, talent and treasure .
Let's take a look at each of the levels!
(Please see video above or past blog linked below for level descriptions.)
Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you identify and cultivate your advocate relationships:
Does this person have the position to influence decisions towards where I want to be?
Emotional intelligence (a blog for another time) is so key here, because you must recognize those that have influence, authority or both. In some instances your advocate may not be the one making the final decision, but they have a strong influence on someone in authority that will.
Would this person speak positively on my behalf if I am not present in the room?
Is my advocate clear on my aspirations and personal brand to share accurately share my story with others?
I hope this was helpful to you! It is so important to network, there are countless books, blogs and even businesses that help you do it. My hope is that we are strategic in how we build our network and move supporters along our pyramid to ensure SUCCESS in every area of our lives! Thank you for reading!