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The Art of Relationship Building: The Tech Tea with Kimberly


My ability to create great relationships in business has always served me well. That is how I landed my first internship with the City of Memphis and this Chief Information Officer role. I have long lasting connections with colleagues that I value as I continue to grow in this IT space.


Lately my ability to build relationships has been questioned. Although I have some amazing connections with colleagues worldwide, the relations within these public sector streets have not come as easy. There are many factors contributing to this, but I am choosing peace by focusing on the positive.


I am going to use this article as my guide to address this complex topic. Before I get started, I had to learn that all advice ain't good advice and oftentimes the people telling you how bad you are at something have a false sense of how well they are at it...but back to the positive.


Let's dissect this article to see what we really need to do to foster better relationships so that we keep our careers moving in the right direction.




1. Search for common goals


Having a common goal in mind is key. It helps to have conversations to better understand the goals of your peers so that you can align. Communicate whatever you cannot do and always recommend viable resolutions. Take lots of notes and send follow-up emails so that it is clear that you are on the same page.


The flip side: You may have to acquiesce, but that is ok as long as the common goal is met. Be mindful that resistance could have a common denominator of SHADE by other parties that simply don't have your best interest in mind. Oftentimes haters don't like how you get things done, so they try to stop you.




2. Establish trust and respect


This should not be that hard, but some adults in a professional setting are relentless. You really have to work hard to apply values in situations with people that have none. I try to treat people how I want to be treated, but when that fails I try to meet them where they are. Keep your word, respond promptly, say thank you, communicate if anything about what you promised changes, admit when you are wrong, and offer apologies and corrective measures to make things right.


The flip side: BE BIGGER. They are going low, so be prepared to go high (Thanks Mrs. Obama), then go home and vent like you really want to. I have cussed a lot of people out from my car/home because it was more important to me how I represented myself in person. When all else fails, just be quiet and breathe. Their lack of trust and respect will pass as long as you keep the main thing in mind.


3. Pursue collaboration




I wish is was as easy as this GIF, but it must be intentional. You cannot move big efforts along alone, so collaborating is necessary. Just make yourself available and initiate what you can. Provide updates so everyone knows what is going on. Get creative if necessary. Work through problems together and celebrate wins together.


The flip side: Some people will not make this easy. While you are intentionally trying to collaborate, they will intentionally try to dodge you. It's ok, do the right thing anyway.


4. No blame game


You won't get very far always pointing the finger at others. This is a clear way to lose the trust and respect from your peers (see #2 above). Be accountable for your wins and losses, and just OWN IT. Sometimes just say "my bad" and keep it moving. People will be more willing to help you correct mishaps when your don't displace blame on everyone else. I have had to say "damn, I didn't mean to do that". Grown people should admit when they are wrong.


The flip side: Immature people point fingers when things are bad and take credit when things go well (in my opinion). Let me clue you in on something....people see right through you and rarely want to collaborate with you on anything when you always blame others. Also, people who blame all the time have selective amnesia, so keep those emails just in case you need to give them a friendly reminder.


5. Make time to bond with each other


Get to know people for yourself and have your own experience of them. Ask about family, pets, kids, etc. Establish your own relationships independent of anything others think or feel. If you genuinely don't like someone, make sure you arrived at that space on your own. Respect the role and what you are trying to accomplish together.


The flip side: As an introvert, I don't care to do a lot of "peopleing". If you are like me, stretch and just extend yourself as much as you are comfortable. It's ok if everyone doesn't get you, some people will never like you just because. That's cool...so many more love you. That is what counts. Thrive in your tribe :)



Do you ever ask the people around you about you? Give people room to tell you the truth.


Thank you to those that have kept it real with me. I may laugh, cry, and even get upset, but I listen.


 

Don't Trip, It's Just a Tip...

I believe surveys are a blessing. They are great for gathering feedback and understanding the perspective of others. Here are some great survey tools that I like to use:

1. Microsoft Forms

2. SurveyMonkey

3. Jot Form

What are some of your favorites? Comment below

 

Tea of the Week: Oolong tea

In an animal study, those given antioxidants from oolong tea were found to have lower bad cholesterol levels.



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4 Comments


Cynthia Moran
Cynthia Moran
Aug 30, 2021

As with personal relationships, it's extremely difficult to build a relationship with someone who doesn't want one with you or is working directly against you. In some instances, I would love to take the high road, but they've burned the bridge to get there.

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Kimberly Bailey
Kimberly Bailey
Mar 08, 2022
Replying to

Sometimes you have to just let it burn.

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Kimberly, boy do I appreciate your honesty. I sometimes like to think I can get along with and keep a positive attitude with everyone, but that is not even close to realistic. For me, I would love everyone to like me but honestly, I'm just not everyone's cup of tea=) I have to be OK with that and know that people's opinion of me is none of my business. Being true to myself is what matters most, being who I am, being in Integrity, no matter what. When you can close your eyes at the end of the day knowing you've been your best that's what matters. Again, thank you for sharing your vulnerability and you be you!!!!!!

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Replying to

Being our authentic selves is a gift. Thank you for sharing.

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