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The Symbiotic Relationship – Mutual Benefits in the Workplace

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Dec 17, 2018 in Thinking Positive

Having meaningful relationships with people you work with has many benefits. For starters, work is much more enjoyable when you get along well with those around you. The happier you are at work, the more productive you will be. Having good working relationships is also great for collaboration, innovation and creativity, from which the whole organisation will benefit.

So, how do you build strong, positive relationships at work? The way you treat people plays a huge role in your relationships with them. You have to appreciate the people around you, communicate with them openly, and make a genuine effort to get to know them. Through this effort, you’ll gain mutual respect, trust and admiration, which are critical characteristics of any healthy working relationship. Follow these simple tips to form a deeper connection with your work colleagues.

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Image source: Unsplash

Schedule Quality Time

 Spending quality time with colleagues outside of work is obviously the best way to build closer relationships. Create a list of colleagues that you’d like to get to know a bit better, whether it’s a team member or just someone you see in the elevator each morning. Ask them to grab a coffee when they’re free or invite them to eat lunch with you.

Try to do this on a regular basis with different colleagues. Once you begin forming deeper connections with people at work, you soon feel a greater sense of purpose and job satisfaction.

Show Your Appreciation:

 Everyone wants to be appreciated for their hard work. Take a moment during the work day to show your appreciation to the people around you, whether it’s your boss or your co-worker. Send them a thoughtful handwritten thank you note, stop by their cubicle to say thanks, or treat them to a coffee. It may not seem like much, but people feel will closer to you if you take notice of their contributions. By showing your appreciation, you will also inspire them to keep working hard.

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Image source: Unsplash

Exercise Together

 Exercising with other people is a great bonding experience. You can lift each other up and motivate each other to do better, and work towards a shared goal. Exercise has also been shown to be beneficial for workplace productivity. It can boost your mood, re-focus your mind and improve your overall energy levels.

So, find time to exercise with your co-workers during your lunch breaks. Ask them to join you for a quick workout out or a walk around the block. Through this, you’ll reap the physical benefits of exercise and also form new friendships.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

If you’re stuck on a problem or need a little assistance with a project you’re working on, don’t be afraid to ask others for help. Many people avoid asking for help at work because they don’t want to be a bother.

However, more often than not, your colleagues will appreciate that you came to them because it shows them that you value their opinion and expertise. This feeling of mutual trust will naturally improve your working relationship and help you to get work done more efficiently.

Be Positive

You don’t have to be the boss to help create a positive working environment for employees. You can contribute to each employee’s greatness by being a positive and motivating force at work. As well as being encouraging and friendly when you are in direct conversation with your colleagues, endeavour to speak positively about them to other people.

For example, when talking to your boss, provide quality feedback about the people you work with. This information will often get shared around the workplace (whether negative or positive). If you do this regularly, your coworkers will value you as their colleague, and your boss will also see that you are a team player.

This Guest Post was contributed by Allison Hail. If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!

Author’s bio:

Before pursuing her passion for writing, Allison Hail worked in the corporate world for several years. Based on her experience, a great working relationship is essential to success – proven correct through her many collaborations with various sites, blogs, and businesses such as Sea Containers. You can view more of Allison’s work on her Tumblr page.

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The Cassowary – Cutting A Path Through The Networking Jungle

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Feb 19, 2016 in Self Improvement

Cassowaries are flightless birds native to the tropical forests of New Guinea and Australia. It is the second heaviest living bird and the species subsists mainly on fruit. Cassowaries are identified by a prominent boney casque protruding from their wedge-shaped heads. Several purposes for the casque have been suggested including use as a weapon for dominance, protection against fruit falling from trees, or even as a sort of knife; aiding their ability to cut a speedy path through the forest vegetation.

As professionals, we continuously work to hone our networking skills. Those in business development are always working to uncover a new business prospect. Job seekers are continuously building their networks to obtain job opportunity referrals that might not be advertised using the “friend of a friend” network.

But how did those people originally become friends?  I can promise you, it wasn’t from reaching out only when they needed something. They checked in from time to time and had recurring mutually beneficial exchanges that exemplified that they could trust and rely on one another. They created a relationship.

Relationships are built over time and go far beyond networking. If you are working to expand your network for personal or professional reasons, try changing your paradigm to cut through the jungle of networking and focus on expanding your relationships. How can you help someone else in their pursuits and, at the same time, reach your own goals?

Networking can be a painful part of job searching if you haven’t been building relationships along the way that are mutually beneficial. Job seekers who work tirelessly to get referrals while they are looking for work often neglect to continue the efforts that got them there after they get the job. I have heard countless stories about people who never received even a thank you note when they referred someone for a job. The job seeker was so focused on getting the job that they didn’t consider (or possibly remember) the person that made the intro for them.

Referrals are often made out of kindness without expecting anything in return, but when they are overlooked, it really sticks out in the referring person’s mind. I can almost promise you if you lose sight of building the relationship with the person that referred you, it’s highly unlikely you’ll get a second referral down the road. And the cycle will have to start from scratch again.

When you receive a referral, thank the person. Send a gift card, or a note in the mail, invite them to lunch or happy hour, but don’t just send another email. Referrals are a gift, not a right, and your own personal reputation is on the line when you refer someone to another person. Ask others how you can help them meet their goals this year as they were kind enough to assist you in meeting yours. That’s how you build a relationship.

People do business with people they know, trust and like. Rarely does a vendor get selected when they rub someone the wrong way.

Like the cassowary, use the tools you have to cut through the forest to reach your goal. Take time to keep good notes, thank people who help you along the way, and help them as well. Building relationships is far more important in building your network than just showing up and attending an event. Get involved at a higher level with your networking groups.  Remember, It’s a two way street.

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The Chimpanzee – Social Tips For Internship Survival

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Jul 10, 2012 in Career Path

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“5 Tips for Impressing Your Boss at an Internship”

In the African jungle, chimpanzees groom each other daily to solidify bonds with other community members. In the corporate jungle, helping out your co-workers during an internship can also help you develop relationships and improve your chances of survival.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, as the economy improves paid internships are on the rise. However, whether you are interning for a salary or for the learning experience, the relationships you develop at an internship will lead to valuable references and recommendations for the next steps in your career. Of all of these relationships, the one that you have with your boss is probably the most important. So how do you make the most of that opportunity? Here are five tips for impressing your boss at an internship.

1. Act like an employee.

One of the biggest mistakes interns make is acting as though an internship is just something that they are required to do. To make the most of your internship, whether it is paid or not, pick out the most positive cues that full-time employees are giving and follow them. For example, dress like others in the office even if the dress code for interns is more relaxed; offer to take a turn and bring in a treat if the office you’re working in has a snack day; or re-fill the coffee machine or copier as often as you can if it’s a shared responsibility. Make yourself part of the team and show that you have the savvy to fit into the environment of the workplace.

2. Keep busy – even when there is no work to do.

Since even a paid intern isn’t likely to be making as much as a full-time employee, managers often assign tasks to full-time employees first. By the end of the week, this might mean that there is no work for you to do. You should always ask your manager first if there is something to be done, but if there isn’t any work or your manager isn’t available, see what you can do besides surfing the internet. If the office plants need dusting or the shared copy room needs tidying, lend a hand. Offering to do filing for employees who seem to be drowning at their desks or just an extra hand to put together marketing packets will get you noticed as someone who is proactive and motivated. Even if your offers are not needed at the moment, advertising that you are available and enthusiastic will leave a great impression.

3. Be yourself.

When you leave your internship, you want others to remember you as a person, not as the temporary summer intern. The best way to make an impression is to be yourself, and not try to be someone else for the sake of impressing others. Be friendly, discuss common interests, and don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with someone you haven’t met yet. They could be a valuable reference.

4. Keep a positive attitude.

Interns have a unique place in the office hierarchy, and occasionally this can engender bad feelings. For instance, a manager might assign a project to an intern that a full-time employee wanted to work on. This isn’t any fault of the intern’s, but it isn’t as though the intern can re-assign the project to the employee who wanted it, either. When office conflicts like these come up, it’s best to keep a positive attitude and not get caught up in recriminations. The worst thing you can do is be remembered as the intern who couldn’t rise above office politics.

5. End with a thank you.

Whether or not you learned anything impressive during your internship, if you want to encourage your boss to remember you in a positive light you should make an effort to thank him or her before your departure. Save the thank you letter for your next job interview; schedule a face to face meeting with your manager and let him or her know what you learned because of their leadership and direction. At this stage, it’s okay to exaggerate a little – for instance, if your manager tried to teach you something but you ended up having to ask someone else for further clarification, go ahead and give your manager the credit. On the same note, you can also let your manager know who else really helped you. Giving out such kudos will definitely help your manager remember you later, as the intern who made the most of the opportunity and wasn’t afraid to give credit where credit was due. You might even get called back for the next open full-time position.

This guest post was contributed by Laura McPherson. Laura writes for Masters in Accounting, a career resource for learning about getting started in the accounting career field.

If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!

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The Vines – Navigating the Network

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Aug 24, 2010 in Building Confidence, Executive Coaching, Job Search

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There’s no question that networking has a lot to offer for those who are in the job search jungle. You can find job leads, meet new people, find resources, and just have fun sharing your job search story with others who are in the same boat. The people you’ll meet through networking are the vines that will help you sail through the job search jungle, moving from one supportive vine to another, helping you to find what you’re looking for.

As you make your way through the job search jungle, take the time to get to know others in and out of your industry. Developing relationships with other professionals will help you to improve the outcome of your job search, and can offer you value along the way, even after you’ve found a great job. Attend events that are popular with the people you’d like to be acquainted with, spend time with those you already know, and make it a point to get to know friends of friends who may have something to offer you-or those who you may have something to offer to as well. You never know how networking relationships might pay off.

While you’re working on building relationships with your networking vines, be sure to carefully nurture what you’ve started. Check in with key contacts occasionally, even if you have nothing really important to say. Sometimes just a friendly phone call or lunch is enough to make a difference, and you’ll stay at the front of your contact’s mind when it comes time to offer something useful.

A great way to bring your networking vines together is to share information from others. If someone gives you a hot lead that you really can’t use, don’t dismiss it-keep it in mind for someone else who might be able to use it. When you call them up to share this valuable information, they just might be sparked to remember a great tip that you could put to use. Introduce your networking partners to each other, and always be willing to not only receive support, but to be supportive as well.

With the right attitude and good networking skills, you can find yourself with a great group of professional friends that will support you in your job search and beyond. Put your networking skills to work and find some great supportive vines for your job search today.

This guest post is contributed by Angelita Williams, who writes on the topics of online college courses. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: angelita.williams7 @gmail.com.

If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!

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