Don’t get me wrong, performing and delivering results at work matters. They help you to attract attention, recognition, rewards and promotions. But delivering results will only take you so far.
Whether they like to admit it or not, organizations are inherently social. They are built and run on relationships.
The relationships that you build within an organization carry more weight than results alone. These relationships will help you to become a better person. Relationships at work help to challenge your limits and will help you reach your goals. They help to foster a passion and love for what you do.
The ability to build strong working relationships will lead to a more satisfying job and career.
How can you build more effective relationships at work? There are many sites offering advice and tips.
In my experience we need to be listening more in our conversations.
So often we get distracted by phones, emails and thoughts going through our heads as we plan what we should say next or think about the big pile of work on our desk, waiting for us.
Pay attention to the person that you are speaking with and focus on them.
Engage them. Ask them questions to learn more. Be curious. Offer help if you can. Make the conversation more about them than about you.
Don’t end conversations prematurely.
So often we feel we have the information that we need and terminate the conversation before the other person is finished talking with us. Give the other person a chance to say what is on their mind. Abruptly ending a conversation after you have what information you think is relevant makes you come across as being rushed and even careless.
As a leader, or manager, if you always conduct conversations this way – rushed and to the point, you could be missing out on the big picture. You could be missing out on the small details that would give you a different vantage point and possibly change the way you approach a situation.
“If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.”