Fostering Relationships: How To Become a Master Ninja Relationship Coordinator

I had the wonderful pleasure of speaking once again at the St. Jude Collegiate Leadership Seminar this weekend in Memphis. The conference is designed to educate and inspire college students and advisers across the country who raise money on their campuses for St. Jude. The purpose of my workshop to the advisers was to give insights on how to strengthen relationships across campus. Following are the main lessons; they are applicable on and off of college campuses.

1. Own it. Take responsibility for the condition of the relationships you have with persons of influence on campus.

2. Make two lists - Friends (people who support your work on campus) and Future Friends (people who either don't support your work or don't actively know you or your work). The goal is to turn Friends into Raving Fans and to turn Future Friends into Friends.

3. Work hard to change the way you view the power hierarchy on your campus. Especially those views that you have that are holding you back from moving forward with certain requests or relationships. A step in the right direction is added the words "Right Now" to your vocabulary. Instead of saying, "The athletic department won't work us," say, "The athletic department won't work us Right Now."

4. L.E.A.D. - Look for, Encourage, Appreciate and Draw out the best of others. How most people treat you is based on who you are to them, the environment your interactions are in & how you treat them. Make them good. (Tweet that - @pli_leadership) Take your Friends and Future Friends lists and turn them into a Campus Water Well Book - a place where you keep track of relationship activity you are involved in.

5. Be a lover of what other people are doing on campus. Be Interested. Make someone else feel more important than they think they are and you instantly become more important to them. (Tweet that - @pli_leadership)

6. Build up others when they aren't around. Stephen Covey said, "A great way to build trust with those in the room is to talk up about those not in the room." Example - Use we, never us and them. Master Ninja Level Relationship Coordinators do not have the luxury of having a loose tongue. (Tweet that - @pli_leadership)

7. Be Intentional. Foster a relationship weekly or bi-weekly with at least one person in each of the areas of campus that directly impact your work. Lunches, coffee, share resources, etc.

8. Piggy-Backing. Investigate how your core work can help another department's core mission also and do more cooperative activities.

9. What comes to mind when people hear your name/office/projects? What habits do you have that are creating or blocking the pattern of others seeing you as a Master Ninja Relationship Coordinator?

Action Steps

- Develop or sharpen your Campus Water Well Book.

- Discover actions you need to start or change or increase.

- Start now. Take action. Email. Call. Schedule.

- Identify what's holding you back from making certain calls to Future Friends.

- Get clear on what other people are saying about you/your department/your work.

- Think of yourself as a Master Ninja Relationship Coordinator. Be self-aware and own this title.

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