As you work to expand your interactions beyond networking, you should consider the benefits of increasing the degree in which you interact with others. By interacting with colleagues at your organization, you
– increase your knowledge of what is occurring at your fast-paced organization, positioning you to ride the wave of change versus being surprised and adversely impacted by change.
– build clearer opinions as to the competencies and capabilities of your colleagues as well as organization direction.
– increase your productivity by utilizing the information gained from your increased knowledge about the business and your colleagues.
– influence decisions that your colleagues are considering by sharing information, opinions, and thoughts.
What is an office hermit? These are the colleagues who, hidden within the confines of their offices or workstations, click away on their computer keyboards, mumble their way through conference calls behind closed doors, and slip in and out of their offices and workstations as quickly and silently as they can. It is almost as if there is a secret society comprised of individuals who pride themselves on how few colleagues they interact with on a daily basis.
If you are an office hermit, you are at risk of being just a body in a chair or a voice on the phone. When working to raise your visibility in your organization and industry, you need to interact with colleagues.
You may not realize that you are at risk of becoming an office hermit, even if you feel as though you are interacting with a lot of colleagues. When you take a moment to step back and look at with whom you are interacting and how frequently you are interacting, you may find that:
– you are interacting with the same three or four colleagues.
– you are interacting with individuals who are not key decision makers and influencers.
– you are not interacting as much as you think you are.
What is the responsiveness hurdle #3?
I do not feel I have time to get back to everyone.
What can you do?
– Schedule some daily time on your calendar dedicated to returning phone calls and email.
– Ask your colleagues by when they needs an answer. Often times, it is not as quickly as you might think.
– Read the Harvard Business Review article, Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time, by Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy (October 2007)