Walking down the aisle to the back of the plane, I was certain this flight would be a nightmare. Taking the early morning flight from Tel- Aviv back to London, it was one of those times everything goes wrong. The online check-in option wasn't working a day before, arriving at the airport after only 3 hours of sleep, I found out that there were no available seats and the only option left is a middle seat in the back near the toilets. Security checks were packed, and the waiting time was more then an hour.
Running to the boarding gate at the last minute, with no time to buy even a coffee I was annoyed, tired and dreading the next 5 hours.
Taking my seat, the guy sitting to my left saw my face. He smiled and asked me how I was. I started to moan about the airport the flight and the lack of coffee, and then stopped myself. "you know what" I said, "it doesn't matter as I'm going home after a long week".
He was going home too, working in building the new Israeli gas pipeline, he needed to travel every Monday from Scotland to Tel- Aviv. We spent the next 2 hours talking about our jobs, the job market in Scotland, about Brexit and its effects, then moved to movies you should watch on flights, and movies we should watch with our kids ( we have kids in the same age), and finally about how die-hard is still a great movie ( even though its 30 years old). We ordered the same meal and laughed as it was uneatable ( don't believe airlines fancy title - it's not really a blueberry pancakes!).
As we were getting off the plane and saying goodbye, I suddenly remembered I didn't even ask for his name! So, I rushed after him and thanked him for making what would have been a terrible flight to bearable one ( his name was Gareth- thank you Gareth from Aberdeen!).
This experience came to my mind this week, working on a complicated case; things got pressured, there were long email chains and calls, and different stakeholders pushing to different directions. But at the end of the day, things were solved and looking back it was the people I worked with that made it happen. We worked together to find solutions, but also shared a laugh.
Recruitment can be intense, the bottom line is always to deliver, even if sometimes the mission is impossible. Having great partners to work with is what can make or break you. Your stakeholders are the people sitting next to you on the plane ( in the back row), make sure you invest in the partnership with them.
4 tips for better partnership with your stakeholders-
1. Make sure you know who they are- your stakeholders are not just the hiring managers, they are also the unit HR team you work with, procurement, resource management, and operations. Take the time to map the key figures you are working with, then move to point #2.
2. Create work routines- weekly/ bi-weekly/ monthly meetings, regular updates, or project updates. Create a basis for work, and align expectations on the best way to communicate and support.
3. Ask them to invite you to the unit quarterly meetings and town halls- those meetings will allow you to "step up" your involvement, better understand the business strategy and coming plans and introduce yourself to other managers and employees.
4. Make time for coffee- personal relationships are, in many cases, the key for success. from time to time, schedule a coffee meeting or lunch and speak about something else than work.