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Turning Workplace Frenemies into Friends (or at least Partners)

Do you remember your kindergarten teacher‘s mantra: “learn how to play well with others”? While she was right, developing strong workplace partnerships can be a challenging process at best and a career killer when not addressed. But the question remains: how do you make workplace partnerships succeed especially when colleagues have critical information you need to solve a business problem?

While holding hands and singing kumbaya may not work, figuring out what’s in it for them is a great start. The first step is simple: brainstorm a list of assets that you could easily share with those colleagues.

The second step is a bit more challenging. This involves figuring out which of your assets will be useful to your potential partners. You can directly ask them about their goals, desires, and maybe even their challenges. You can also gather information from their business partners by asking whether there are performance gaps your assets could fill. This does two things. It helps you understand your colleagues’ business challenges. And, it also identifies a need your assets could address.

With that information in tow, you can begin the process of negotiating with hopes of turning a colleague into a partner or maybe a friend.

MREB members, read about how Transamerica used this process to develop a successful ongoing relationship with the analytics department.

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