WORKPLACE SUCCESS / 23 January 2019The Importance of 'Water Cooler Talk’
Deciding to connect with upper management may be a daunting task. “They’re scary!” “Why would they want to talk with me?” “I’m probably going to mess up.” These are some typical thoughts a normal employee would think to themselves. However, here’s the thing. You aren’t a normal employee.
Connecting with upper management and top executives in your company is a great way to open the doors to new opportunities that you never dreamed of. Maybe you’ll get a raise. Maybe you might impress the boss. Who knows! The possibilities are endless.
Now, before we get to the steps, you have to realize that just connecting with them won’t give you the upper hand in getting opportunities. It starts with you.
Be ready to do what your upper management needs or wants. This will show your enthusiasm for the job, but be sure to tell them your goals for the future so that they are able to understand where you are coming from. Get to know them for who they are as people. Know their interests. Making meaningful connections rather than surface level ones can go long way, even if you decide to leave the company.
With these qualities, you are now ready for the 6 steps to connect with top executives at work:
Remember, you want to build a meaningful relationship with those people as per what I said before. Having a few great relationships is always better than having shallow relationships with multiple people.
Having some of this knowledge will really get someone to pay attention to you. Trust me. See what happens when you talk to your basketball loving friend, about basketball. They will talk to you with open arms.
This is where you have to show that you want to know them more. Show an appropriate level of persistency when contacting them and treat them out to lunch. *Hint: Very few people say no to a free good lunch.
Of course building a meaningful relationship is good for you, but showing them your skills and ability is even better. Heck, even genuinely asking them for advice will show them that you are serious about connecting.
This can be a little tricky. On one hand, you don’t want to bother them too much. On the other hand, you want them to remember you. The happy medium I suggest would be to ask for their advice once in a while (say a few months at a time) and be sure to engage with them when you see them.
Always, always, always make sure to follow up with that exec or admin. Make sure that they know you are grateful for their time to ensure a good relationship. I would even say give them a gift. People always appreciate gifts and maybe you’ll even be rewarded later. You may be thinking, “It can’t be that easy!” or “I don’t want to look bad in front of the execs! This seems too hard.” The more you think like that, the less you’ll get out of your job. In most cases, companies hire you to work long-term. They want to see that you have the potential to grow and that’s how you show them. Build that relationship to showcase your growth within the company. Make them notice you. Show off your interpersonal skills and your hard skills!
Remember, just following these steps will give you the initial push to knowing how to connect with upper management. It’s up to you to connect with them. People might ignore you, and that’s okay. Move on to the next person. Not everyone is willing to give up their time. You take what you get and when you want more, just rinse and repeat these steps. And don’t give up. Remember, they are human like you.
Tell me how your first try at connecting with upper management goes in the comment section and don’t forget to like our Instagram for little tips and tricks in your professional life!