Just as the alignment of your core values with your life principles boosts your self-confidence, building alignment with those around you brings about a boost in your professional presence.
Julie was working on a project that required the assistance of others to achieve the goal. This was a great opportunity to engage others who could bring a variety of strengths and motivations to contribute to the outcomes. Doing this well could also raise Julie’s professional presence. How can Julie seize the opportunity to build alignment with others? There are 3 powerful ways to do this: 1) build connections with others and bring them together, 2) empower others, and 3) behave like a partner.
1. Build connections with others and bring people together. Whether this is your natural inclination as one who networks, or you want to bring together the right people for a specific project or goal, ensure that you reach out to those with the right strengths/passions and attitudes. This will help you to successfully align people with the outcome you are committed to achieve.
When Julie was stuck for the best resource for a specific role she needed, she asked a person already chosen to recommend someone else. This was a very successful strategy and the new person turned out to be a valuable member of her team.
To activate your ability to connect with others, ask yourself: “Who can I connect with for this project that has the right strengths, can benefit from working on it, and is reliable/I trust to do the job well? How should I approach them and make the connection so they understand why I am choosing them and how they may see benefit from aligning with me (and others)?”
2. Empower others. This means enlivening and sustaining key relationships internally and externally. It also means developing and inspiring self and others. To do this, you must take the risk to put others in the spotlight. Think about times you feel empowered by another person. For me, I feel encouraged to step out, play a key role, and that I am important to the project leader personally, and to her goals. This inspires me to do my best, develop my skills, and learn and grow through our work.
Julie used a very simple process to empower others. She told them: 1. What she needed them to know – the context of the project, the key stakeholders, and why this was important to the larger goals. 2. In a way that helped them feel chosen for their strengths and know-how, and how she thought they might benefit developmentally, too. 3. What authority they had to act and when to bring her in for support.
To activate your capability for empowerment, ask yourself, “in choosing this person to align with, what are his/her key strengths? Am I willing to risk delegating a key role and clear outcome, and trusting him/her to achieve it? How can I provide him/her with what is required for success, such as information and resources, authority, other team members, and my direct support?”
3. Behave like a partner. This means projecting responsiveness, consistency and timeliness. When you are responsible to a partner or a group of partners, such as a team, how do you step up to the call for assistance? What is the consistency of your behavior and responsiveness? How timely are you with your response and delivery? This makes a difference to earning trust and relies on your relationship intelligence as you manage the unexpected.
When Julie became overwhelmed by other temporary demands of her job, she realized her partners on this project needed to know. When she called them together to let them know of her challenges, they all pitched in to assist her as she diverted her attention temporarily to meet the demands.
To activate your partnership, ask yourself: “Can I respond in 24 hours? And if not, when can I respond? How can I remain consistent with my partnership behavior? What can I do to ensure I meet the deadlines or communicate that I will be delayed?”
Julie made her ability to align with others work for her with these 3 important behaviors that help to build a powerful leadership presence.
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