Abraham Lincoln said, "I don't like that man. I must get to know him better."
This wise man's quote relates so directly to the last questions I ask participants to answer on their action plans in the workshop Impression Management: Influencing Others. I originally created the course for the Directors at Swedish Medical Center and have customized it for many other clients since. It focuses on the fact that as we reach management positions, we are asked to influence a wide range of individuals─some of whom we may have had little contact with before.
They're asked to think about everyone: direct reports, peers, managers of other departments, executives, board members, community members and on and on. Each of us has someone─or more than one person─whom we avoid because we have trouble communicating with them, don't understand them or just plain don't like them. Yet, this person may be critical to our success or the success of our team. For this reason, the final questions they're asked on their action plan are these: What is one critical relationship I need to build? What can I do to begin building this relationship? When, where and how can I commence?
Who don't you like? Who do you need to get to know better?