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Building Relationships for Influence

Building Relationships for Influence
At this point, as we normally do, I would like for us to take a step back and reflect on the key insights, key takeaways, from this entire week. We started by talking about the fact that the structure of your network of relationships with others can equip you with either high or low levels of informal power and influence. Recall that we tend to develop these very dense, very cliquish networks, where everybody talks to everybody else. A network that Jennifer has. And that network can severely limit our ability to influence others, to get things done by utilizing informal power. So we talked about different strategies to connect with those outside of our immediate circle of contacts.
Talk about strategies that would help us expand and diversify our network. Think about offering value to others in managing dependence in relationships. Again, keep in mind that you don’t build a network, you earn it. You earn it by delivering value to others. Recall also, that some of the most valuable relationships that you can have are those that are characterized by high mutual dependence, where you depend on your contact to a significant degree and the contact depends on you. These are the relationships of high commitment, high engagement. They transcend this pure economic logic of quid pro quo, where I do this for you if you do this for me. Very relationally strong and robust.
Remember also, the entire range of organizational currencies you can trade to develop and maintain relationships. We often quickly think of task-related currencies. Resources related to our work. Whether it’s help with projects, quicker approval times, or some other form of cooperation. But we often forget to consider relationship related currencies. Social favors that we can use to create and maintain our relationships. Think also of positional related currencies, especially those related to visibility. That I can give you more work. I can ask you to present in front of senior management. I can ask you to develop an important presentation. And you will consider it a valuable favor, a valuable resource. Because you crave that visibility. Build a reputation for being competent, smart, influential.
But more importantly, think of ways that you can engage others, to help build that reputation for you. And finally, focus on becoming an energizer in organizations. Focus on maintaining energizing relationships with people. So every time you have a meeting with someone you and the other person walk out more energized, more motivated, more driven. Recall that, by being an energizer, in the social structure of the organization, you can become more influential because you elicit higher levels of discretionary efforts from others.
Thank you so much for staying with us. It’s remarkable to see so many of you do so well in this course, and in the entire specialization. Thank you. Next time I’ll see you will be in course four. We’ll talk about leading effective teams. Take care.
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