3 Steps to Create Relationship Maps for Professional Success

Relationship Map

Relationship Map

By Pam Solberg-Tapper

Relationships matter. Having solid relationships with the right people is critical to your professional success.

For example, one of my executive coaching clients was seeking a promotion. We mapped out who she needed to know and what they need to know about her to help position her as the best candidate for the new role. She then went on to create win-win relationships with them. As a result, these people advocated for her to be selected.

Another one of my executive coaching clients needed to “sell” his ideas inside his organization. We devised a relationship map of the key stakeholders he had to influence and how to develop strong relationships with them. By being visible and providing value with these key stakeholders, my client was able to advance his project within his organization.

The Relationship Map Tool is designed to visually picture the key people that need to be in your inner circle to support your success. This dynamic visual will help you assess your relationship needs and gaps.

How to Create Relationship Maps:

  1. Place your name in a circle in the middle of a blank sheet of paper.
  2. Add circles around yours and label them with the names of people, companies, allies, customers, vendors, associations, etc. that that are important to your success. In some instances, these can be people or entities that you do not know yet – but you need to know.
  3. Draw a line between you and the person/entity to represent your relationship with them. A solid line means strong relationship, dotted line means relationship in place but needs strengthening and no line means relationship needs to be cultivated.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are the strategic relationships needed to achieve my goal?
  • What do I need to do to strengthen existing relationships?
  • What do I need to do to start relationships that are important but not yet in place?
  • How can I create win-win relationships the will benefit me as well as them?

One important thing to remember: to be successful in the business world, it is not only who you know – it is who knows and has a strong relationship with you!