Posts Tagged ‘lunch’

Stay Connected, Over Time

Problem:

You develop really close relationships with the people you work side by side with, then an opportunity comes along, or a reorganization, or for some reason you or they move to a different group and you never see them anymore.

Solution:

If you’ve developed a good friendship, it doesn’t take much effort to stay connected.  It could be months or even years later that you might run into them again and you would pick up right where you left off, it could be just like old times.  It’s always fun to see old friends.

What I’m suggesting is that you make an effort to make that happen, instead of it happening accidentally.

Every few months, or year, or whatever time period makes sense for your level of friendship, send your friends an email, or give them a phone call, or just show up at their desk and say “What’s up? How’s it going?  How’s the family?”  Maybe even take them out to lunch.

Reconnect and reminisce.  It’s so much fun, but it’s also very valuable and develops good grootship.  Not only will you find out about how they’re doing, but you’ll learn what’s happening in the old group, who’s doing what (did that one guy ever retire?), or how the company is working in that area.

This strengthens your connection, so in the future, if you ever need some information or help from that part of the company, you can just call up your friend and say “Do you know about…?”

This is easy, immediate, and free information or access that happens so much faster than filling out some form, or following a process, or calling a bunch of different people to find the right person you need.

Trusted networks are powerful.  It’s how things can get done fast in a large company.  So strengthen your network by staying connected, over long time periods.  You never know when you might need someone’s help, or when you might be able to help someone else.

Besides, it’s fun.

Grow a Powerful Corporate Network (without leaving the office)

Guest post by Jodi Kaplan. Visit her blog at Fix Your Broken Marketing.

When I was back in the corporate world, my job required me to work with people all across the company. I was in marketing, but had to rely on people from graphics, events, product development, membership (for a non-profit), and IT to get my job done.

In one case, I had a brand-new position, so there was no guide to show me the ropes.  Since I couldn’t ask for help, I came up with an “evil” plan. 

Bribery!

I had a two-part plan.  The first part: bribery.  I put a big bowl of candy on my desk.  After a few days, I had lots of new friends.  People would also stop and chat, so I got all the latest news and project updates.

Let’s Do Lunch

Part two of my plan was sitting down for lunch.  I’d go into the company lunchroom and sit close to people outside my department.  Occasionally, they’d ask me a question or I’d chime in.  I gradually built up a friendly relationship,  and we started eating lunch together and having real conversations.

We were technically all isolated in our own different corporate silos – reporting to different people with different lines of command.  In some cases, we really weren’t intended to have anything to do with each other. 

However, when you have lunch with people over weeks and months, regardless of whether you’re talking about food, TV, or company goings-on, you start to bond.  

You also start to learn things you’d have never known about otherwise  – what bothers them, what problems they’re having doing their jobs, how you can make their jobs easier, and how they can help you. 

For instance, I found out that graphics would rather have plain text files instead of heavily formatted Word files.  Or, that it’s easier if you mark where you want headlines or photos to be inserted. 

These cross-departmental connections also came in very handy during reorganizations, since people from other departments  already knew and liked me.  In fact, some of them are still my friends.

So, next time you don’t have plans, ask someone from IT or accounting to lunch.  Or, go sit at a different table.  You might learn something. You might even make a friend.