An essential element of working with people is ensuring that communication is effective and that you can work well with one another. Improving interpersonal relationships at work is a great way to improve the overall effectiveness of the team and business objectives. Improving these skills will also make your time at the workplace much more enjoyable!
Improving, growing and enriching relationships hinges on one’s ability to:
- listen to others
- think about and consider their viewpoint
- ask thoughtful and inquisitive questions
- then return to listening to the responses
- (repeat the above)
By following the above four steps, one begins to understand another’s point of view. Getting the facts and necessary information will help you form your views and allow the relationship to flourish in a respectful and open-minded manner.
2. Manage Your Emotions
There is no doubt that emotions can bubble to the surface at work. We are all human, and we all experience things differently than the next person. When your feelings begin to bubble up, try to catch yourself and take a few deep breaths – allow for some self-awareness to come up. Reflect on what it is that is happening—allowing the feelings to arise. The key is to manage these feelings as best as you can instead of expressing them without consideration for others. Paying attention to your emotions will tell you a lot of information. Dive in. Learn what these emotions are telling you about the situation. A wise bit of advice that I was given years ago was: “your emotions are telling you about you, not about anyone else.” It took some time before I could wrap my head around that thought. I consider this each time I feel my emotions taking over when working with others. Once I sense the feelings arising, I know that these are reactions to my perceptions of another. I can then get to work on how I handle my own emotions and discover what I need to learn about the situation.
3. Acknowledge Skills In Another
We all have a group of particular skills that no one else can do as uniquely as us. Acknowledging these skills in another is a powerful way to show appreciation for what differentiates someone as unique and special. After all, who doesn’t like to feel special? This is a powerful way to impact corporate culture and improve your relationships positively!
4. Be Direct & Assertive
Being direct and assertive can be well-intentioned will land well if communicated with tact and awareness of others. It’s important for other’s sake to not beat around the bush. Tell someone what you need, what you expect, what is required. There can be far too much left to interpretation. If someone interoperates or assumes something other than was what is intended, then the breakdown occurs. Say what you want, don’t leave room for interpretation. Being assertive is not being aggressive. It is, however, a matter of confidence. When someone sees and hears that you mean what you say, it has a far more significant impact.
5. Have Empathy
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the emotions of another. This is a powerful leadership skill. When someone believes that they are seen, heard and understood, it can transform the relationship. There can never be too much empathy when you add in the other points above.
Improving interpersonal relationships can make the workplace an enjoyable and incredibly successful place to work. The better that we can get along, align and grow the better off our businesses and the success of our clients will be.