Building relationships at work can feel a bit unnecessary, you may take the approach that you don’t have to be friends with these people so let’s just get the job done and move on. But if you stop and think about it, you spend more time with the people you work with then any of your friends or loved ones, so shouldn’t building solid relationships with people you can trust and work harmoniously with be important?
The advice I am going to give you may seem, well , a bit simple and it is, but so often we just don’t follow it and mainly that is because we just don’t communicate effectively. Really it is a case of treat people how you would like to be treated and here’s how…
It’s all about communication simply put, and here are the 5 ways you can improve drastically how you do just that with your colleagues:
Honesty is the best policy: If you don’t know, just say so! But go that bit further to offer to look into the issue and get back to them in a set time frame. Most importantly, do it, honesty is built on being true to your word and part of building a relationship is people knowing they can trust and rely on you.
Be clear with people: So often we go around the houses when telling people what we want which ends up not really telling them anything! For example instead of saying “perhaps next time you can consider what other information you might include” be clear and say “next time I’d like you to include X, Y and Z information” that way they absolutely know what you want and what to do and they will respect you more. Otherwise next time they do the same thing and you get short with them they will be left thinking “why didn’t she just say that in the first place!” We’ve all done that right!
Do not “demand” your request: Remember the manners your parents taught you and always ask politely. People are much more likely to respond in a positive way if you ask rather than demand. Put yourself in their shoes, which would you prefer… “Can you get back to me tomorrow with that please” or “I want it tomorrow, final”… I know what I’d opt for!
Be interested: There is simply nothing worse than someone looking at you with that vacant expression on their face, muttering a few huh huh’s every now again, when you know full well they haven’t listened to a word you’ve said. So annoying, so don’t be that person. Give them confirmation that you have been paying attention, you can either repeat what they have said such as “so, just to confirm….” Or ask questions and ask for more information thus be interested in what they are telling you.
Don’t forget you have ears too: You don’t always have to do the talking or even worse interrupt half way through because you think you already know what they are going to say. Let them express themselves and finish what they want to say and show them you respect their opinions.
These 5 simple tools can be put to use by everyone at every level so why not try it and encourage others to do the same and we can really start to build those relationships.
If you are struggling with communication in your work environment, or among your team, then download our HRREV Guide to Effective Communication…. It’s FREE and ready for you now!