Manage How People Use You

This title almost makes it sound like you put on the doormat to let people walk all over you. Today, the problems we face are often too complex to do them alone. Our expertise may not be sufficient to accomplish a task by ourselves.  Someone else may be better suited to complete a task requiring skills you have yet to develop. In turn, others need you and your expertise as well. Managing these relationships will require a welcome mat; instead of you wearing it, the mat needs to be placed in front of your door.

There are two principles which I believe are the basis to becoming a reciprocating relationship manager. The first characteristic is a Meet-er.

The Meet-er is known by people, not simply a reputation but people know who you are and what you do. The Meet-er will interact with people in positions they aspire to as well as in a mentoring or coaching role. This person will also be involved in groups that solve problems, develop strategies or simply interact. The Meet-er will introduce people they know to others with similar interests. Finally, a Meet-er will visit people without culitvating the person for a request. The Meet-er is generally interested in other people.

The Meet-er does not have to be extroverted, a social butterfly or have a bubbly personality. In fact most people innately have many characteristics of a Meet-er and act this way without knowing it. The second characteristic is a Greeter.

The Greeters greatest ability is to listen. Active listening is not a passive activity. A Greeter may listen more with their ears than with their mouths. They are aware of organizational dynamics because they have a network of people who speak. The Greeter surrounds themselves with people who have suggestions. They will solicit these people with potential solutions to problems or exercises and meet with them often. The Greeter is a great listener, but also shares information when they become aware of related needs.

If we are to develop relationships with people that are healthy, productive and mutually beneficial it will require that we exercise the characteristics of Meet-ers and Greeters. It is not difficult for example to listen, to share and connect people with your similar interests.


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