Most traditional networking fails because it is practiced without a purpose, goal, or plan. Whether that goal is client acquisition and retention, finding the next job or buying a company – relationship-centric goals are those in which you need others to help you achieve. Specifically, these are business relationships with colleagues, clients, suppliers, media, analysts and the business community at large.
The following are three types of relationship-centric goals:
Direct goals are black and white goals that are clear, simple to understand and to the point. They are quantifiable, directly related to how you are measured, and generally on the 12-to-18-month horizon.
These are goals over which you have less personal control in achieving. They often require other things to fall in place on your behalf, such as the influence of others. To achieve these goals, you will have to influence key situations or align your efforts with key influencers in the organization. When setting these types of goals, go beyond your comfort zone. What do you want to achieve 18-to-36-months from now? How will you know when you’ve arrived?
Equity goals are of intangible and difficult to quantify. These include areas such as branding and building a go-to-person reputation or increased market awareness. What positive thing do you want people to say about you? What is your personal brand? What are you doing to research, package, build and market your brand for more responsibility and positive visibility within the firm and the community in which you live and work? If you look back three to five years from now, what will you have accomplished?
Goals are fundamentally more achievable if they are written down and reviewed. For goals to be effective, they must also be quantifiable and have a time frame. Remember that if you can’t measure it, you’re unlikely to track your progress and you won’t be able to make course corrections along the way.