Work relationship issues can lead to broken deals, missed promotions, and lost jobs. Today, Jordan Harbinger from the Art of Charm Podcast uncovers the truths and smashes the myths about building relationships at work. He also tells us how our body language dictates how we are treated, and gives us his drill to start appearing more confident and competent right away.
You can listen to the podcast here.
Jordan Harbinger’s Story
Jordan is not a dad, but course, he had a dad. He got into trouble as a kid because his dad was always working. Working hard was how he showed love to his kids. Jordan says this was not a great way to be a father. Every kid would rather have time with their dad.
Jordan started skipping school. He wasn’t cool, so he didn’t go hang out with the other kids. He went home to his computer and spent all his time on the internet – the internet of 1993. It was nothing like the world wide web we know today. Jordan figured out ways to tap phone calls. At the age of thirteen, he was exposed to conversations about real emotions and problems. The world of adults became three-dimensional to him and it opened him up to how complex human relationships are. It became his obsession.
After he graduated law school, he got internship at an old prestigious white-shoe firm. Jordan noticed one of the partners was never there. One day he asked him, “why are you always out of the office? And how do you still make so much money?” The man told Jordan that he didn’t worry about billing hours because he brought in a lot of deals. He focused on business generation, not so much client service. He went out to enjoy golf, jujitsu, cruises, and events for charities. His socializing generated the relationships that brought the firm revenue.
At that moment, Jordan’s mind imploded. All patterns he had in his head about how work works were turned upside down. He realized that the way you network is through generating and putting energy into relationships, and, like parenting and marriage, something grows out of that.
What Happens if We Don’t Work on Professional Relationships?
Jordan keeps tabs on his old buddies who are finding themselves behind. They keep hitting barricades and never get the promotions they’re expecting. They work hard and wonder why they’re stuck.
Jordan says, ninety-nine times the guy didn’t outperform you, but out-networked you.
If you’re in an organization, and you’re not mindfully working on relationships, you’re being willfully ignorant of the secret game being played around you.
Why We’ve Ignored the Social Aspects of Business
Most of our dads taught us to work as hard as we can and never give up. Eventually, our hard work gets noticed. We get promoted and promoted again. Maybe we even get to the top. Or, maybe not.
This old-school mindset leads us to believe that:
- We should be getting promoted for work ethic and skill – nothing else.
- If we didn’t sweat and grind for it, it isn’t ours.
- Getting something as a result of our relationships is wrong.
This way of thinking is setting us up for failure. Relationships with people in our career-life are just as important as the ones with our wife and family. If we put time and effort into connecting with people, there is nothing wrong with enjoying the success we may achieve as a result. If we fail to build rapport with the people in our professional lives, we will lose out.
People are going to choose the people they like. If there are three candidates with roughly the same qualifications, the person in charge will choose the one they feel most comfortable with. They will choose someone they work well with and have fun with.
It’s not just about likeability, it’s about productivity and success. It’s very rare that a team who is qualified and gets along doesn’t succeed. But we see the disaster that happens when teams that do NOT get along. One poorly chosen team member can ruin a whole project, and everyone fails. This is why sometimes highly-qualified candidates get passed over for a better team player or someone with better social and management skills.
Building Rapport and Self-confidence
We receive first impressions visually. Nonverbal communication is our first way to show confidence and competence. Appearing confident will cause people to treat you differently. Once we’re treated with respect, we act accordingly. When we carry ourselves differently, we’re treated differently. When we’re treated differently, we’ll act differently. We actually grow into those personality characteristics.
Project Confidence, not Ego
Projecting confidence is not trying to be the emotionless Rambo-type. Some of us developed emotional toughness in our school days to protect us and never outgrew it. But now it’s time to drop the tough-guy act. We want to act confident, not egotistical.
Be the First One to Be Vulnerable
People bond over shared experiences. Knowing, liking, and trusting has to do with vulnerability. Be the first person to display weakness with confidence. Share a relatable problem. This helps generate rapport and people feel they can trust you. No one will feel safe sharing with you if you don’t share with them.
Body Language and Confidence
Stand up straight with your chin up, shoulders back, and with a smile on your face. This is open, positive body language, but it’s hard to manage nonverbal when you’re in the middle of interacting. You can’t remember all the time. It needs to be a habit so you don’t have to think about it anymore.How can we condition ourselves to use confident body language without thinking about it?
Jordan Harbinger’s Doorway Drill
You can do this drill in your own house. Every time you walk through a doorway, remember to stand up, put your chin up, put your shoulders back, and smile. If you have trouble remembering to do this, take a pad of post it notes and leave them on all the doorways. Every time you see the post it, you’ll wonder why it’s there and you’ll remember the drill. By the time you become blind to the post it notes, you will get the doorway drill.
Jordan Harbinger’s Dad Wisdom (as a son)
Don’t think that talking about your day is boring to your kids.
Many men don’t want to talk about work to our families. We think it’s stressful or uninteresting. But as a boy, Jordan said he would have loved to hear about his dad’s work and about what grown men are supposed to do day to day.
Being a dad is not just provide, provide, provide. Part of being vulnerable is sharing daily challenges with our kids. Spend some time with your kids. Use it to build a bond with them. Take advantage of the fact they want to listen to you. When they’re older, they might not.
Originally published on The Good Dad Project
Photo courtesy of author