by Michael Kublin
Relationships. They’re what drive success and allow real-world demands to be satisfied. There are many elements for creating and building relationships, and also for maintaining and nourishing them.
Whether you’re a technician, manager, senior leader, or support professional, possessing the right skills and a commitment to continually develop them will position you to enhance both professional and personal relationships and obtain results.
How would you rate your ability to:
- Recognize key behaviors that build and nurture relationships?
- Align your style and approach with those you interact with?
- Leverage your strengths and recognize and address your challenges that impact positive relationships?
- Share strategies and best practices for building strong relationships?
Let’s start with self-reflection and then follow up with trust, communication, healthy conflict, and supporting shared goals.
We all want to be the best we can be. In order for that to happen, we first must understand how we perceive and feel about ourselves, know and utilize our strengths, and recognize and address our development opportunities. Equally important is the need to understand how others perceive us and why.
This doesn’t always feel good (though sometimes you may be surprised that others find a strength in you that you weren’t aware of, or even thought was a fault). Maybe you’ve been given feedback that stung. You don’t need to agree with it, or necessarily act on it, but you do need to process it and give thought to where that perception originated. This is especially true if you’ve heard it from more than one person.
Our thoughts, feelings, emotions, values, and culture all impact who we are and how others view us. In order to develop and nurture trusting relationships we need to understand our behaviors and how they help us obtain our desired goals or stand in our way. (Remember that trust is considered the primary value for successful professional and personal relationships.)
Patrick Lencioni, author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, tells us that trust is the foundation of success. There must be transparency, honesty, and vulnerability. Think about that. If you trust someone you’re more likely to:
- Admit weaknesses and mistakes
- Ask for help
- Accept questions and input regarding areas of responsibility
- Give one another the benefit of the doubt before arriving at negative conclusions
- Offer and accept apologies without hesitation
Bottom line: Without trust, it’s impossible to have strong relationships.
George Bernard Shaw once said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Communication can be complicated, but if you do it effectively, the messages you send will be received and accurately understood!
Communication improves with awareness. What positive communication behaviors do you exhibit? What are your trouble spots? Make it your goal to communicate with confidence and have your message accurately interpreted!
When you hear the word “conflict,” do you think of trouble or mere disagreement? Simply defined, conflict is a difference of opinion. Some differences are readily resolved; others not so much. All too often conflict is ignored or not managed appropriately, but healthy conflict can be inspirational!
Consider a brainstorming session where everyone is heard and ideas freely bounce around and get further defined. This is a great example of how differences can be inspirational and lend themselves to creativity and growth.
Documented goals help us reach our desired destination. In a study of Harvard alumni, 83% had no goals, 14% had goals but they weren’t written down, and 3% had goals that were documented. The three percent who had written goals were earning 10 times more than the 83% who had no goals!
No one knows why a written goal is more effective than one that’s known and understood but not committed to paper. Regardless of the reason, goals keep us moving forward, help individuals, teams, and organizations maintain focus, and are more readily attained.
Why should you attend my “Relationships at Work: Mastering the Common Denominator” workshop? If you’re like me, you’re passionate about people and relationships, and you’re committed to continual learning. During this session you’ll obtain tips and techniques for building stronger relationships and for improving results for entire organization, and for increasing your level of self-awareness. Guaranteed takeaways include:
- Exposure to key behaviors that build and nurture relationships
- Suggestions for aligning your style and approach with those you interact with
- Tips for leveraging your strengths and addressing the challenges that affect positive relationships
- Strategies and best practices for building strong relationships
I look forward to meeting you!
Michael Kublin is leading the workshop titled Relationships at Work: Mastering the Common Denominator at the FUSION 16 conference.