Four Co-Workers You Should Buddy-Up To
An organization's most influential individuals are not always the highest-ranking -- or highest-profile -- employees. While some of your less savvy co-workers might focus all their energy on flattering the higher-ups, the company's executive or administrative assistants are often the ones who actually run much of the show, albeit behind the scenes. Administrative professionals hold key information about the bosses' priorities, schedules and moods. Having established a rapport with the these less-heralded power players might come in handy when you're in a pinch and need to quickly squeeze in some face time with a manager. They also can provide invaluable insight into when -- and when not -- to approach the boss.
The Grapevine Monitor.
Unlike the dirt-dishing gossip, who delights in spreading "juicy" tales of trivial interoffice melodrama, the grapevine monitor is acutely aware of the office's relevant developments and political undercurrents. The grapevine monitor remains current on organizational issues by doing more listening than talking at the water cooler. Developing an ally in the information loop, who can filter the meaningful business-related information from the nonsense, can be valuable in times of transition. For instance, the grapevine monitor may know of upcoming projects, budget cuts or resource restrictions before the information is distributed through official channels. Put simply, when significant changes are afoot, it never hurts to have a trustworthy friend with an ear to the ground.
The Well-Connected Social Butterfly.
There is typically at least one individual in every company who seems to know -- and get along with -- everyone else. Acquaint yourself with this person. The well-connected social butterfly is a consummate team builder who never forgets a face, name or detail. Aligning yourself with the social butterfly is particularly helpful if you are shy or new to an organization. These expert communicators and collaborators can ease your adjustment and help you branch out by introducing you to staff members from other areas of the company. In addition, watching how the well-connected social butterfly operates (how the person starts conversations, interacts with others and puts people at ease) can help you enhance your interpersonal skills and ability to collaborate with others.
The Cool-Headed Veteran.
The cool-headed veteran is not identified by age but by experience and temperament. In times of high pressure and tight deadlines, this steady professional weathers the storm with efficiency and poise. Sage, calm and resourceful, the veteran has encountered difficult times in the past and is willing to share his or her survival tips on performing with grace under fire. Whether you seek the cool-headed veteran's counsel as issues arise or he or she becomes a close mentor, this unflappable and wise worker is worth observing and emulating.
Knowing which relationships to leverage in the workplace is as important as understanding which people to watch out for. So identify the heroes in your workplace and consider inviting one of them to lunch -- it's never too early or too late to start building these valuable contacts.
Robert Half International is the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm with a global network of more than 350 offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. For more information about our professional services, please visit www.rhi.com.
Last Updated: 24/09/2007 - 3:50 PM