This is the second of six posts on simple, practical ways you can bring your own superpowers to work, right now. Read the introduction here, and the first tip, Brag on Yourself, here! And be sure to leave a reply at the end of the article with your questions or comments, or tell us what you think on Facebook!
Tip #2. Know Who You Need to Know
Almost everything is easier to do when the right people get involved. That goes for bringing your superpowers to work, too. You could do it alone, but why?
If we’ve learned nothing from the lightning growth of 24/7 communication and social media, it’s that people enjoy being connectors and sharing things they like. When you are wearing your Red Cape and making a difference in your corner of the world, your friends, colleagues, and even casual acquaintances start reinforcing and extending your knowledge, wisdom, and good energy through their words, actions, and thoughts. They spread your superpowers around faster than a video of a piano-playing cat. When more people understand and see your superpowers, you get more opportunities to use them and feel more confident each time you do.
By knowing people, I don’t mean just listing them in your LinkedIn contacts because you once shared a table at a rubber chicken dinner. I mean really knowing people—which requires paying attention to them, asking them questions, being curious and concerned about their well-being. And that takes work, patience, and time. It’s easier than ever to have a string of contacts; it’s harder than ever to really know people, especially the ones you need to know.
Also, let’s be clear–knowing who you need to know is not a Machiavellian scheme to manipulate, impress, or somehow finagle love and appreciation from someone who doesn’t want to give it. It’s a genuine expression and connection to the people in your work and life world who need—and maybe even want!—to know and understand your superpowers, people who can not only gain and benefit but who can help you benefit the world.
(Just to say it, the point of this exercise is about building relationships with people who can support you in your superpower space. But some people might think about this activity as networking—a word I hate since I am not a tuna and do not want to be caught in your net. There are thousands of books, websites, and blogs about networking if you’re interested in this further or need some fresh ideas. If there are ones you’ve found most helpful, share it with the rest of our community on our Facebook page!)
Roles and relationships are more unpredictable than ever before. Titles and status can mean less than habits and friendships. So to really bring your superpowers to work and to live and breathe in your superpower space, who do you need to know? Who needs to know you?
If you’re my client Greg from the previous example, maybe it’s the three top sales executives in his firm, so that he has some real-life role models who are doing what he’d like to do. Maybe it’s the person who recently left his company and is now at a competitor.
To bring your specific superpowers to work, think about how it might be helpful to know people like:
- Your biggest competitor
- Your former boss
- The peer you never get a chance to talk to
- The person who got that promotion instead of you
- The CEO’s administrative assistant
- The vendor liaison
- The receptionist, guy in the mailroom, or UPS driver
- Your neighbor’s cousin who’s looking for a job
- Your hair stylist’s mom who works in your industry
How to reach out? Keep it simple, like:
- “I’ve heard about you from [whatever the source] but don’t know much about what you do. Would you be open to having coffee sometime to connect?
- “I realize we have several [friends/colleagues/business connections] in common but we haven’t had the chance to connect. Could we schedule a 15-minute call to get better acquainted?”
- “I’ve been exploring how I can use my [superpowers; talents/skills/ideas/energy/resources] to make a bigger difference for my work and career, and I’d love to share some ideas with you and hear what’s happening with you, too. Would you be willing to get together next week?”
Then make the date, show up, and be your Red Cape wearing self! Who knows what you’ll learn and do when you know who you need to know!
Who do you need to know? How can our Red Cape Revolution community help? Ask for ideas or share your successes with us on Facebook!