As we previously discussed, there are many reasons to attend industry association events. One of those is to have the opportunity to hear and introduce best practices.
There are a number of reasons to attend industry association events
And identifying talent is just one of them, as Chief Executive Officer of the Northeast Human Resources Association, Tracy Burns, knows firsthand.
“It is very clear to me that the key differentiator for professional success today is building relationships with colleagues you meet through industry associations,” says Tracy. “I have seen dozens of highly-qualified human resources professionals who don’t know what is going on in the industry, don’t stay current on best practices, and, quite frankly, don’t know their colleagues.
Your professional success rests with the degree to which you raise your visibility in your organization AND your industry.
You could spend all of your time being visible within your organization at the expense of industry visibility. However, when you’re only visible in your organization, you miss opportunities for professional development and opportunities to build richer relationships with industry colleagues.
Your ego and inner critic play a big role in how you participate at work.
You may not realize it, but you tell yourself hundreds of stories every day. I don’t mean stories that you share with others about what happened to you when you were a toddler, in college, or at the mall last week. I’m referring to the dozens of stories that you tell yourself every day to explain why something bad happened or why another person is behaving poorly. These stories come from your ego and inner critic.
Participating with a Purpose
“Interacting with others” is comprised of ways in which you can raise your visibility “one-to-one” with others. Unlike interaction, “participating with a purpose” is focused on “one-to-many” experiences with colleagues. Participating is comprised of activities where you raise your visibility when many of your colleagues are present.
Participating and Overwhelm
The most dramatic symptom of our newly christened PTSD (professional traumatic stress disorder) is the belief that “I can’t afford to be out of the office!” If you believe that this statement is true, “I can’t afford to be out of the office!” is at risk of becoming a mindset that hinders your ability to raise your visibility. You may hate Bruce Willis and scowl anytime you see one of his movies advertised. You might hate conflict and do everything you can to avoid a confrontation. Whatever your mindset might be, it is at risk of pre-determining how you interpret and respond to a situation.
Mindset is a habitual mental attitude that determines how you will interpret and respond to a situation.
Carl wants to participate – honestly he does
“Oh, no,” Carl says to himself as an email from his boss slowly unfolds before his eyes. “Not another team building offsite!” Like a hungry ant craving a watermelon for lunch, Carl wonders how to digest this news. Blink. Blink. Blink. He stares at the light on his office phone, silently reminding himself that he has messages waiting. Buzz. Buzz. Buzz.
Coming next, we’ll take a look at participating purposefully. You may be wondering what the difference is between interacting and participating. In the Raise Your Visibility & Value model, interacting is defined as “one-to-one” interactions with colleagues, while participating is defined as “one-to-many” experiences with colleagues.
In today’s ever-evolving organizations, the most important relationship you will have is with your boss. Your boss is accountable for the activities on which you focus. Organization leaders will come to your boss for feedback on your performance. Your boss is the author of your annual performance appraisal. Your success in your organization is dramatically impacted by the impression your boss has of you.
It is important to understand the difference between an interaction and a relationship as you work to raise your visibility in your organization and industry. I defined interacting as “the degree to which you engage one-to-one with colleagues.” While interactions are one way to raise your visibility, it is inevitable that some interactions will begin to build a relationship.
Relationship is one of those words that we use often, yet we find it hard to define when asked. Consider the following as a definition for “relationship:”