I’d like to spend some articles here talking about all the different people that you work with. Why? Because it’s crucial to developing the kinds of relationships that will help you not only now, but in your lifelong career journey.
The concept is straightforward: When you become clear on the needs of those you work with, you’re able to make better decisions, deliver more value, and be happier with your job. For the lack of a better term, I’ll call these people your “stakeholders.”
Let’s take a quick trip around the circle:
- Your suppliers are people who do work that you need in order to do what you do. If you develop reports or make decisions, that’s based on data you get from other people.
- Your management are the people who guide your work, and who are responsible for its quality.
- Your customers are the people who receive value from the work you do. That may include ACTUAL customers, of course, but also others who are more directly connected with the value you provide.
- Your partners are the people who work WITH you to deliver value to your customers and theirs. They might be your immediate teammates or other peers in the organization, or they might span boundaries.
It’s true that the boundaries between these categories aren’t clear, but that’s OK. This is just a way to expand your thinking well beyond “my job is about doing what my manager tells me to do.” This helps you to take more control of your job situation, and develop more productive and long-lasting relationships.
Also note that this is a general model, so your situation might be a bit different. Managers, for instance, would like to add another bubble for their employees, rather than using the label “partners.” Wonderful! Use this to help you move your thinking forward. Change the terms if these names seem too formal or foreign to you.
I’m going to spend some time in upcoming articles going through each of these categories in detail, plus a bonus one that’s even more important. Have you figured out what it is?
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Series on Workplace Dynamics
- Part 1: Understand All Your Stakeholders
- Part 2: Understand Your Suppliers
- Part 3: Understand Your Management
- Part 4: Understand Your Customers
- Part 5: Understand Your Partners
- Part 6: Understand Your Own Needs
by Carl Dierschow