Breaking the Isolation Barrier at Work

Breaking the Isolation Barrier at Work

A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming More Likable and Building Stronger Relationships with Coworkers.

Have you ever wondered why you feel isolated in your organization, even though you’re a high performer? 

It’s because people like the results you produce, but they don’t like you.

If you want to become less isolated, be more likable.

How do you figure out how to be likable without compromising the best of what makes you a high performer?

Ask a disinterested third party to do a 360 evaluation of you with your peers, direct reports, and people you report to.

Don’t make it complicated. Use this format…

Pick 6-8 people.

Send them an email requesting their help.

Ask them to book a 10-minute phone conversation with the outside party who is doing the evaluation.

Have the third party ask these questions: 

  1. What do you do best?
  1. What’s one thing you could do better?
  1. What other advice do you have to help you perform better and be more successful?
  1. Anything else you’d like to add?

After the interviews are over, meet with the third party and review the results.

A theme of behavior that makes you unlikeable will emerge.

For example: “John interrupts other people all the time, he’s dismissive of others and arrogant.”

Take this feedback and ask yourself, “how can I change my behavior?”

In this case, the answer is simple: STOP INTERRUPTING

Go to the people you work with who like what you produce but don’t like you.

Tell them that you know that you interrupt others and come across as dismissive and arrogant.

Commit to change and request that they hold you accountable for the specific behavior of NOT INTERRUPTING.

Give them permission to call you on your behavior when it comes up, and assure them that you’ll graciously receive their feedback.

You may come across skepticism to begin with, but you should find one or two people who’ll help.

Then, remind yourself of your commitment every time you go into a meeting.

Write it on a PostIt note and stick it on the back of your phone, and keep the phone on the table in front of you.

Whatever it takes, work on changing one behavior.

Finally, have the third party redo the 360 in 6 months’ time and see what kind of progress you’ve made.

If you consistently focus on one change of behavior and handle the accountability well, in six months you’ll make progress to becoming less isolated and more likable.

I coach construction executives, and use this 360 process.

It works.

If you are a construction executive and you feel isolated in your organization, and your company is willing to invest in executive coaching (I’m not cheap), reach out to me and let’s have a short discussion to figure out if/how I can help.