How to Win Relationship Capital Among 5 Types of People

Relationship capital

Relationship capital is a career differentiator. Relationships are vital in advancing anything in life. Relationships can help you achieve your goals faster and with less stress. Focusing only on performance will keep you on the job, but you most likely won’t get the career you desire without relationships. 

It is important to be in the company of excellent and inspiring people. Having a friend or mentor who inspires you to work harder is crucial for success. Ensure you are in the company of people who are driven to succeed and drive you to achieve. Encircle yourself with successful individuals by seeking them out. Never undervalue the significance of achievement in your immediate surroundings. Remember that you need to be among individuals who inspire you to achieve your goals. 

Positive people will help you learn how to become more optimistic and work toward your objectives. 

Standing out on purpose requires visibility and relationships with your team, peers, key stakeholders, and key decision-makers. It is also powerful to create a personal board of directors to help you think differently and become more intentional. Managing relationships effectively will help you become better positioned to win differently in your career and possess the skills and relationships to win on your terms. This is how you impressively dance to your authentic rhythm. 

Throw away that long exhaustive list of tasks and leverage relationships to help you get the list of tasks accomplished. Once a week, leverage your connections to help you think differently and stand out on purpose. Being successful in corporate America requires performance. You are already demonstrating excellence in what you deliver. (If not, that’s your first step.) You’ve mastered performance. What you might be is missing relationship capital. 

Relationship capital

Wining with relationship capital requires that you focus on five types of people: 

Key Stakeholders –

these are individuals that will help you stay relevant. They may or may not hold senior-level roles, but they are very influential with key decision-makers. Their opinions matter. These individuals need to be talking about you in the rooms you don’t have access to for all the right reasons. In some organizations, it might be the executive assistant of your function’s leader. It could be a close colleague or person on their staff. These individuals know the answers to the questions that can help you. They know the unwritten rules of success and may have even written the sheet music in your company. 

Key Decisionmakers –

These are individuals that will make the decisions on who gets hired, promoted, fired, laid off, and given new work assignments. They are the individuals with the formal and informal power in your organizations. These individuals should know who you are and what you can deliver. They also need to like you enough to not stand in your way for new career opportunities. 

Colleagues –

These are your team members or people that report to you. They are the people you spend the most time with, and they can help you get exceptional work done. These are also the people you should engage with often and with whom you should partner. 

Peers –

This is a group many oftentimes neglect building relationships with because you see them as your competition. Develop effective and productive relationships with your peers. You need to have visibility into what they are thinking and feeling. They have the ear of your leader, and it is important to understand what they are sharing about you. One day, they too could become your leader. You can learn valuable information from them. Establishing connections with this group is a powerful beat to add to your tempo. 

Personal Board of Directors

Create a personal board of directors. This group should serve as advisors of your life’s core areas that need rhythm. These individuals should have demonstrated success in achieving what you desire to succeed. For example, my personal board of directors consists of a life coach, a minister, a corporate executive, a working mom, a writer, and my husband. They are my role models. They keep me grounded and committed, and provide clear instructions and advice in navigating life and corporate America. Mh board of directors provide my safe space and inspiration to stay the course regardless of the circumstances. They provide wise counsel to aid in winning on my terms. 

Relationship capital

Board of Directors are people who are well connected and influential. Please note that they don’t have to be people that live in your city or individuals you talk to daily. Instead, they are people you periodically check in with. These are individuals who, when you need direction and when you need advice, can help. Find people who have accomplished what you want to achieve. Those are the individuals who are best suited to offer you advice.

A person who doesn’t have a vision will be extremely limited in telling you how to obtain your goals. A personal Board of Directors can connect you with strategic partners to which you currently don’t have access. They should be aware of your aspirations to offer strategic guidance. They should also make you aware and help you discover if you are getting off-beat. And they will hold you accountable for activating your authentic rhythm.

Relationship capital is a winning strategy to help you activate your goals and ambitions. If you want to achieve your goals and ambitions, start by creating your winning strategy with these 5 types of people.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What can you do to build relationship capital? 
  • How will you increase visibility in the organization? 
  • What group in the relationship capital model is your greatest strength?
  • What is your greatest area of improvement? 

This guest post was authored by Joy Fitzgerald

Joy Fitzgerald (aka Speaking Joy) is a coach, best-selling author, and corporate leader who has dedicated her life to motivating and igniting joy into every aspect of a person’s life. Her new book, Finding Authentic Rhythm: How to Win on Your Terms in Corporate America (March 2023), pulls together a wealth of experiences to help women successfully thrive in their careers.


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Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.