The Promotional Edge: How Workplace Relationships Set You Apart


Lan Nguyen

Marketing Executive

In this article...

    Have you ever wondered how people get promoted, but the answer you get is always "you are not ready"? According to Amii Barnard-Bahn, an executive coach and consultant with over 20 years working with Fortune Global 50 and C-Suites, working hard is not the only thing you need to climb the ladder. You'll also need to have strong and meaningful relationships at work. 

    Why management says you are not ready for a promotion 

    When aspiring to climb the career ladder, many workers inadvertently overlook a crucial aspect by placing excessive emphasis on their work ethic. Rather than striking a balance, they often concentrate more on honing their skills than building warm and meaningful relationships at work.  

    Unfortunately, hard work alone does not help you gain a work upgrade. Because all your competitors are doing the same thing, they are just working as hard as you are. So, how can you stand out to get the door open? 

    Cultivating robust workplace relationships showcases your capacity to effectively wield influence, a vital skill in demonstrating your aptitude for leadership and management. While it's possible to excel as an individual contributor, a company often seeks more prospective higher-level employees. They value individuals who can foster team growth, making them valuable candidates for leadership roles, be it as a team leader or manager. 

    3 ways to build relationships in the workplace 

    Share your knowledge 

    If you believe you are qualified to be a manager, you must be confident in your skills and knowledge. Ask yourself: What makes you different from others? What tasks do others trust you the most? If something already popped up in your mind, you know your answer. 

    Companies want a manager who can work well with others. And one of the most effective ways to do it is to share your knowledge that benefits your team.  

    Become a mentor 

    As a leader, your success isn't solely defined by personal growth but also by your ability to nurture the development of those around you. If you haven't yet caught the eye of management for upward mobility, one of the most effective ways to establish yourself is by proactively volunteering to support and uplift your colleagues. 

    Assisting others brings a sense of fulfillment and also offers valuable personal benefits. Engaging in mentoring enhances your communication and influence skills, ultimately showcasing your capacity for leadership and team development. 

    Learn to work with those you can't get along well 

    In the professional world, you'll often encounter individuals with characteristics that may pose challenges to your working relationships. Mastering the art of effectively collaborating with diverse personalities can yield substantial career advantages, refining your communication, conflict resolution, and adaptability skills. 

    Proficiently managing complex team dynamics cultivates improved teamwork and highlights your adeptness in addressing conflicts with finesse, thereby enhancing your overall professional reputation. This, in turn, boosts your chances of securing promotions, reduces workplace stress, and expands your professional network, resulting in a more seamless and prosperous career trajectory.