Learning Lab: Colleague Conversations

2 min. read

It’s easy to blow by building relationships with people you interact with routinely, but building bridges with these people is ESSENTIAL.

We’re not really taught specifically how to build relationships. For some, it comes naturally. For others, it takes some intentionality. Either way, it’s critical to have mutual trust in a relationship before getting too personal or deep with your subject matter in conversations at work. If you’re uncertain, start out with a focus on work-related topics.

The key is practicing your listening skills.

Often, conversations with the individuals we see and interact with most are primarily focused on accomplishing the work at hand. You bet credibility is built in those everyday conversations. However, there’s more potential here. Why not engage in a conversation like:

1. How do you think this project is going?

2. What do you think is working well? What should we need to change?

3. Here’s what I’ve observed. What are your thoughts?

These can be 5-minute discussions. Over Zoom. Over coffee. Easy, and non-judgmental. You ask questions. You listen. You learn. You appreciate the other person’s perspective. This information is priceless to understanding more about this person and what’s most important to them. 

If you have the proper intent, you’ll build significant trust and credibility. If you use this information for your sole personal gain, all bets are off and it’s guaranteed you’ll destroy the connection, future opportunities, and definitely your credibility. (Read more about preventing the destruction of your credibility here)

🏃🏽‍♀️ Don’t get too far ahead of yourself. Start here and know future experiments to come that are focused on connecting with Influencers in the organization and/or other people inside and outside the organization that can be helpful to you in your career development.

Follow along here for weekly experiments & career development support.

Or get the book to dive deeper right off the bat!

About the Ladderburner Learning Lab:
In Burn Ladders. Build Bridges. Pursuing Work with Meaning + Purpose, Patterson shares an essential formula for Ladderburners in pursuit of more at work. Chapter 7 dives into two of those skillsets – how to build a base of competence and credibility. This can be done through the Learning Lab – an approach to learning as much as you can about your job, the people around you, what success looks like, and how things really work inside the workplace. Learn more about the Ladderburner Learning Lab.