Make the most of new relationships

July 1, 2021
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Home 9 The Intro 9 Make the most of new relationships

A few years ago, we began working on a big project with a new group of colleagues. Today, these rockstar marketers are our friends and collaborators, but they were strangers at the time. And we were in charge of making this ragtag group a team.

The big (and very obvious) question was simple: How? 

How do you make the most of a new relationship? How do you set yourself up for success? How do you put your best (and most honest) self forward? 

One of our strategies was to steal a page from columnist Adam Bryant and Stripe COO Claire Hughes Johnson’s playbooks and write “User Manuals”…about ourselves.

Some highlights: 

  • “Bonus points always go to people who are curious.”
  • “I write fast. But just because it’s quick doesn’t mean it’s easy.”
  • “I dance. I sing. I do these things when you least expect them, and I do them all the time.”
  • “I love working with people who challenge the way things are and always look for ways to make things better.”

Carving out dedicated time to think about how we work, collaborate, give feedback, and lead was incredibly eye-opening—and super helpful as we dove into a new team. And we’ve carried these lessons and insights with us for years.

Now, as we begin to step out into the world again after 16 months of Zoom screens, our collaboration skills are a little rusty—so we’re returning to our manuals and asking ourselves a few key questions: 

  1. What are you bringing to the table? What are you good at, what do you love, and what value can you add to your partners and teammates? 
  2. What do you want to learn? Curiosity is a central tenet of Swell + Good, so we love always asking questions and learning from the expertise of others. 
  3. What are your blind spots? It’s a good practice to be honest about your limitations. And identifying what you’re not good at can help you choose great teammates who are strong where you are weak.
  4. What do you appreciate? How can a teammate go above and beyond for you? And how can you go above and beyond for your teammate? Knowing how people work is your essential first step! 

Today, in this same spirit of collaboration, we’d love to get to know YOU! 

Let’s go with question #2: What is one thing you want to learn this summer? 

It could be work-related—a new tech tool, an email strategy, or how to use the soon-to-be-launched Instagram fundraisers. Or it can be something totally random—Russian history, the latest TikTok dance, the science of black holes, or how to juggle. 

📫 Let us know what’s on your summer curiosity list or if you want to read our User Manuals by dropping us a note. We can’t wait to hear from you. 

Allison Kooser

Allison is Chief Storyteller at Swell+Good, where she partners with amazing organizations to help them bring their stories to life. She is an avid traveler, an expert takeout orderer, and a big believer in curiosity and kindness. She tries to learn something new every day, and she reads, writes, and paddleboards more than the average human.
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