Building internal networks

Now you have identified who you need to know, how many of these people have you met? If there are people with whom you will need a good working relationship, or whose work you need to understand better in terms of how it fits with your own, identify these on your diagram.

Consider whether you can contact them directly to set up a meeting, or whether you need to go through your manager or another third party. It may be worth checking if there are any internal sensitivities, or a history of tensions between departments as background to a meeting.

It is not uncommon for there to be "turf" issues when two departments have conflicting priorities eg recruiters wish to make promises about accommodation to maximise numbers accepting offers, but the accommodation office wants to avoid empty rooms resulting from no-shows for whom accommodation was reserved.

Arranging a meeting as part of an induction, or staff development, process and asking colleagues to tell you about their work can be a non-threatening way of developing a relationship. Colleagues will probably welcome the opportunity to find out more about your role. This can help prevent future problems, or make them easier to deal with if they do occur. You could consider doing this with colleagues in your area or department. This will enable colleagues outside your area to find out more about what you all do and vice versa. Talk to your line manager about this.

People I need to meet What I need to know about their role What they might need to know about mine