One of the most impactful lessons that I learned in 2018 was to value relationships over opportunity every single time. This may seem a little backwards at first, but when you start focusing on serving and helping others, opportunities begin to abound. I am not implying that being driven and pushing forward towards opportunities is a bad thing. The issue is that when we are pushing towards those opportunities and forcing our way forward, it often times sends out some negative signals. Those negative signals, intended or not, start to drive a wedge between you, the person, and the desired opportunity.
What I have come to notice as I have actually put this into practice, is that when I take a step back and let things fall into place, opportunities that I had been striving for seem to happen on their own. As I am waiting for opportunities to happen, I am honing my craft and making myself available to volunteer and help with other side projects that may pop up. In fact, it is these side projects that come our way that allow us to not only practice our skills, but it shows others that you can actually do more then what your job description says.
One last benefit that happens when we focus on relationships over opportunities, is that it lets people know that you are there for them. If we instead come to others focused on what we can get from them, people will sense that and they stick you in the “do not ever talk to them again” category. When we are in this category, it makes it even more difficult for us to have any influence on that individual and keeps us from growing.
Even though it may seem backwards at first, we need to focus on relationships over opportunities every…single…time. When we do this, it allows us the freedom to hone your skills and offer leadership without being seen as if you were overstepping your boundaries.
Who are the individuals you need to start putting the relationship first with again, and what are some specific things you can do right away to get that started?