More wisdom from a woman, board member, former CEO/COO and director of a fund who I spoke to a few weeks ago about gaining confidence to speak your mind at work. Today I recall more of her perspective on the nuances of building a successful career.
“Working hard is not the most important thing when it comes to your career. It is much more EQ than IQ.
The emotional quotient is about relationship skills. Relationship management means dealing with other people at work in a strategic way. Today we can be so goal oriented. It’s easy to have tunnel vision when you start out. We are raised to think that working hard and crossing it off a list is what we need to do. It’s a lot more nuanced than ‘I did this’.
She went on to share that there are implicit rules in a workplace and each workplace has its own culture. Your interactions in the hallway and at after work sessions are key opportunities tap into what makes the other person tick. Try to figure what motivates them. It’s about putting as much strategy into your work relationships as you put into your social relationships.
“Work life is no different than your social life. You have clever strategies for social interactions. You need to translate those into business and apply them so they can affect you positively. Really listen to who they are – your boss, your clients, your colleagues – and what is important to them. You have to be mindful, conscious of the present situation not just thinking about the next next next.”
Being present and understanding what is important to others can help you figure out what is important for you to get across and how to apply what you have learned in meetings without blundering through to get the the next thing.