Relationships Matter – How to Cultivate Winning Relationships at PMI Mile Hi’s Symposium (4/29/2016)


By Morag Barrett on March 31, 2016

Posted by Morag Barrett | March 31, 2016Relationships Matter – How to Cultivate Winning Relationships at PMI Mile Hi’s Symposium (4/29/2016)I firmly believe that the world of work is a team sport. The biggest team sport any of us get to play. Which means we are dependent on others for our success. We must pay attention to how and when we cultivate professional relationships at work.Events like PMI Mile Hi’s 18th Annual Symposium, coming April 29th in Denver, Colorado (www.PmiMileHiSym.org), offer a wonderful opportunity for networking, meeting new people, and reconnecting with past contacts. You’ve heard the phrase “six degrees of separation.” I have come to appreciate that in today’s world, it is more like “six degrees of connection.”I have had the opportunity to speak at events around the world, and one thing I can almost certainly guarantee is that of those attending this year’s Symposium, most will hunt in packs. What do I mean by this? Most will stay with their friends and colleagues, eat together, sit together, and chat together. Very few will have the courage to break out and to meet new people, make new connections.If the idea of trying to meet hundreds of strangers scares the daylights out of you, don’t panic. I am not suggesting you try to meet everyone, but do set yourself the goal of meeting say five new people. I don’t mean simply collecting business cards. Instead take the time to stop and talk, get to know them and what they hope to gain from PMI Mile Hi’s Symposium. Spend 10 minutes in a real conversation.With that in mind, here are eight tips to help prepare you to be different, to break from the safety of the herd, to forge new relationships that may open up new possibilities for you, and to ensure your time at PMI Mile Hi’s Symposium is a success.Build Your NetworkStart before you arrive. There are only a few weeks to go until the event. Review the agenda and speaker bios, check your social media connections to see who is attending and who you might like to meet. Then contact them via email, LinkedIn or Twitter. Work out how you can potentially add value and help them, not just how they might be of use to you.Practice your “hello”. I hate the term “elevator pitch,” as it sounds contrived. However, the intent is positive. You need to think about how to say “hello” and introduce who you are and a little context as to why you are at the event. 30-seconds or less, make it genuine and remember the intent is to open up a conversation, not simply toot your own horn! Oh and DON’T forget to bring plenty of business cards (tuck them into the back of your conference name tag). It always amazes me how many people leave these at home.Get out of your comfort zone. Sit with someone new for lunch, hang out near the coffee station, talk to the person who sits next to you! You may be surprised at just how connected you may be when you take the time to ask a few questions. Remember relationships are not just for today…maybe this new contact could be your boss, colleague or new client next month, next year.Ask questions. A powerful way to get introduced to people is to ask questions during the Q&A sessions. Stand up, introduce your name, role and company, and ask your question. Afterwards you can reintroduce yourself to the people in that session; I promise some will remember you and proactively come and find you.Maintain Your NetworkI use LinkedIn to keep in touch with my contacts. Send a personal invitation (not the standard wording) to the people you would like to remain in contact with. You can do this during the conference or when you get home.Follow up. If you promised to send information, make sure you remember to do so. (I write reminders on people’s business cards).Stay in touch. There is a new tool on LinkedIn that allows you to set reminders to get in touch with people (open a profile, click on ‘relationships’ and then reminders). Look for opportunities to send a quick congratulations message, or an article and “thinking of you.” Ask for help and input from your network; you may just receive a suggestion you hadn’t considered!Share Your NetworkIn my book, Cultivate, The Power of Winning Relationships I talk about the concepts of Generosity and Abundance, one of the four elements of an Ally. The most successful people are the ones who share their network and expertise; they give more than they take. Make introductions, share your wisdom and build a reputation for being the go-to person.How can you cultivate strategic relationships? This blog has focused on creating new relationships. If you’ve been blindsided by a colleague, or if you are plagued with the worst of office politics, shifting alliances and silos, then make sure you attend both of the SkyeTeam sessions.I’d love to meet and connect with you. Please come by and meet my team and I at the SkyeTeam exhibitor booth. Feel free to connect with me before April 29th (don’t forget the personal message), because business is personal and relationships do matter!Morag Barrett is the best-selling author of Cultivate: The Power of Winning Relationships. She is also the founder and CEO of SkyeTeam, an international HR consulting and leadership development company. Morag’s experience ranges from senior executive coaching to developing teams across Europe, America and Asia. SkyeTeam works with clients in a range of industries including: Healthcare, Telecoms, Mining, Manufacturing, Engineering, and Technology. www.skyeteam.comRelated ArticlesTags »Cultivating Winning Relationshipsnetworkingprofessional relationships Share3
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