Leadership Academy attendees learn to fortify relationships
Monday, March 11, 2013
More than 500 Network of Executive Women members learned to build positive, strategic
relationships at work during the second 2013 Leadership Academy webinar, "Building
Relationships of Trust,” March 7, 2013.
one-hour webinar, Carrie Deshaw, associate sales director, Target team at H.J.
Heinz Company, and Kim Strong, vice president, diversity and inclusion at
Target Corporation, shared their approaches to building trust in workplace relationships and forming an inner circle among
colleagues. Career coach Jo Miller, CEO of Women's Leadership Coaching,
moderated the session.
"Trust is the
foundation of every relationship,” Deshaw said. "It's the heartbeat of every
Deshaw shared how she once inherited a new customer whose needs hadn't been
met. She acknowledged each area of
concern as a way of proving that they could go forward. "When you have those not-so-fun days when you
say, ‘I can't stand it,’ you learn so much from the valleys,”she said. "Always
add value. Do the right thing. Be true to yourself and stay committed to the
destination. When you least expect it, you may be there.”
Strong said she once
misspoke on a conference call, citing a "glitch in the system” that could be
traced back to her working partner, who took the mention personally. "What I did on the next conference call was
apologize for misspeaking,” said Strong. "I took the opportunity as a learning
moment. My partner accepted the apology and we were able to repair the
Strategies for building trust range from simple introductions to stepping up
communication. For Strong, meet-and-greets help build strong relationships up
front, even when meeting with people whose career value may not present itself
at first. Professional relationships develop or change as time passes, she said.
knowing when to pick up the phone and "raise the red flag.” Communicating with
someone by telephone -- particularly when email has been the norm -- escalates
a relationship; it's important to be specific as to why you need them.
The consumer goods executive also shared her respect for Golden Rule-type thinking when
it comes to building trust. "Always look at it through that lens,” Deshaw said,
"Don't ask others to do what you won't want to do.”
‘Micro’ manage your relationships
"microaffirmations” and "microinequities” -- telling behaviors that include
body language, communication styles, even quick conversations -- can make or
break a relationship, Miller noted.
the importance of inclusion, even in everyday conversation. Engage others through
their work, invite their input and complement them for anything they've done
that has added value to the work experience.
Strong emphasized the significance of paying attention. Active listening makes
a difference, as people can hear it in your voice when you're occupied with
your email. Consistently letting people know you're engaged in their communication
is a great step toward a positive cumulative impression.
who form your inner circle or "personal board of directors” is crucial, Miller
said. As an inner circle grows, the
influence to lead grows along with it.
circle includes five key figures: an external mentor, an internal mentor, a
reverse mentor (who, despite less experience than the mentee, can offer
substantial knowledge in specific areas), a sponsor and a peer confidante --
someone with whom information can be mutually trusted and shared.
Deshaw's inner circle has been tailored through her own experience and includes
an internal adviser, an external adviser, a resident coach, an executive coach,
a confidante and an "information powerhouse” or information-rich go-to person.
personal,” Strong said. "It's your reputation; it's your brand. Everything
aligns with how you want people to perceive you. Words carry how you act.”
"Look beyond the iceberg,” added Deshaw. "Look at the water. If you only look
at the iceberg to navigate, you don't get below the surface. Understand the lay
of the land. Every day, work upon it to build value.”
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