Relationship Goals: Working with People You Trust

Don’t you want to work with people who share your values?

Summary
Transcript

Jennifer Franklin is a long-time journalist and sought-after freelance journalist; her work has appeared in national media and she is the co-author of Make it Zero. Still, when a friend became the editor of recognizable national magazine and asked Jennifer to write for the publication, Jennifer hesitated. "It always feels a little bit wrong to say I've gotten this opportunity because of the relationships that I've built." It wasn't until another friend helped her see it from the point of view of the editor – the ability to hire someone she trusted and whose work she valued – that Jennifer shifted her thinking.

"When you develop relationships that are solid, they're built on trust and integrity and shared values; those are the people that are going to want to work with you, and those are the people that you want to work with," Jennifer explains. "It's an important lesson for leaders because there's a huge level of comfort [in working] with people that you already trust"

It always feels a little bit wrong to say I've gotten this opportunity because of the relationships that I've built. We like to make it hard for ourselves. We tend to just want everything to be merit based, but that's just not the way that the world works. And I was in a situation recently where a friend, a dear friend, had become the editor of a very recognizable national publication, and she said, "Hey, I want you to write for me." And I didn't leverage that relationship for months because I felt like it was too easy, like I was leveraging a relationship instead of just working really hard for it. And I had someone say to me, "But wouldn't you want to work with somebody that you know you can trust? And your friend can trust you and she knows that you're a good writer and she's asked that you work with her. Why are you not moving forward in that? Why are you not stepping into that?" And that was a revelation to me because I'd never thought about it in those terms. I was thinking about what I was potentially getting from her. But to shift my thinking and think about the comfort level that she would have with working with someone that she already knows and trusts, was kind of a game changer for me. And so I think for business leaders that's an important lesson, too. When you develop relationships that are solid, they're built on trust and integrity and shared values; those are the people that are going to want to work with you, and those are the people that you want to work with. And so I think that whereas leveraging relationships sounds kind of negative in terms of maybe you're not working hard enough for it, I think that the flip side of that is a really important lesson for leaders because there's a huge level of comfort with people that you already trust.
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Jennifer Franklin

Jennifer Bradley Franklin is an Atlanta-based multi-media journalist, storyteller, editor and author. Her work appears in USA Today, Delta SKY, American Way, People, Food Network , Southbound, Flavors, Hospitality Design, Time.com, South...

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