In today’s interconnected world, virtual workers interface with a wide variety of both internal and external partners. This extends from members of other teams to our customers/clients to other agencies and organizations. Given that teams, not just leaders, are responsible for relationship development, it can be useful to get the team attuned to what their key relationships are internally and externally.
Relationship mapping is an activity you might consider doing as part of your next team meeting.
On a whiteboard, draw a circle on the board first, with the name of your team. Make a list of all the potential people you partner with. Select one color marker for internal team partners and one for external team members. One at a time, map out how close you are to each of these internal and external relationships. If it is a close relationship place them closer towards your circle. If it is a more distant relationship, place them further away.
Ask people to indicate what is important about that relationship. Is it a relationship which enables you to do things? Do you get important information from them? Do they provide resources, etc.? Also note for each relationship, what needs attention.
Seeing these interconnections visually can bring to life the relationships, helping people understand how much they are part of a web and dependent on others.
Part 1: Map out your relationships
Part 2: Look at each relationship and consider the following questions:
• Who do you want to connect with?
• What does it mean to connect? What would it look like?
• Who can help you build your network?
• Who is the most important internal stakeholder to connect with?
• What do you have to offer?
• What are the top three to five issues you want to connect around? 191
• If you would like to have one takeaway from the conversation, what is it?
• Ideally, what is the outcome to the conversation?
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