Seven Relationships to Cultivate at Work

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Success at work depends on both results and relationships. The seven people listed below can increase your success or make your life easier, so developing and maintaining positive relationships with them is a good idea.

1. Your Boss’s Assistant.

Managers and their assistants usually have a close working relationship. Your boss’s assistant probably shapes his or her opinion about a lot of things, including you. Assistants also control access to the boss to some degree, making it easier or harder to get information. Only an idiot would be rude, inconsiderate, or unresponsive to their manager’s assistant.

2. Your Human Resources Representative.

HR people may not have a lot of direct power, but they often have a great deal of influence. Managers frequently consult with HR about promotions, key assignments, pay increases, and other employee decisions. Getting on the wrong side of your HR person can be a real career-buster.

3. The Person Who Can Fix Your Computer.

Although policy may dictate a first-come, first-serve approach to IT service requests, all of us tend to be more responsive to people we like when they need help. Your call for computer assistance may be answered a little more quickly if the IT person is your pal.

4. Your Boss’s Boss.

There’s an old saying about this: “It’s not your boss who protects your job; it’s your boss’s boss”. And that’s very true. In fact, the next level of management will probably have to approve any decision that affects you in a major way. You may not have opportunities to really get to know your boss’s boss, but at the very least s/he needs to know who you are and have a favorable impression.

5. The Office Gossip.

You’ll never stop a rumormonger from gossiping, but you can reduce the likelihood that their stories will be about you. Gossips really enjoy trashing people that they don’t like, so you need to stay out of that category.

6. The CEO.

You may have very few chances to interact with the CEO, so when you do, make the most of them. Ask an intelligent question about the business or share some interesting information. CEO’s often like to hear the perspective of people in different parts of the organization. If you make a good impression, the CEO may remember you positively in the future. And that’s never a bad thing!

7. The Person Whose Job You Want.

If you are clear about your next career move, then get to know someone who has that job now. The goal is not to edge them out, but to learn from them. That way, when the position becomes available, you’ll already have useful knowledge and may even get a good recommendation from the incumbent.