Whether you’re a business owner, CEO, intern, or entry-level employee, the ability to work with others is critical for your success. Regardless of your position in a company, you need to manage relationships with supervisors, customers, suppliers, and others to be effective in your role.
Here are 6 quick tips that can be applied to you and your team to help you better manage your relationships.
Cultivate Your Communication
Communication is critical to effectively managing relationships in any direction (upward, downward, or across functions). Communication is multi-faceted and is more than just talking to another person.
- Choose your words carefully and deliberately. You should avoid using absolute words such as always or never.
- Consider your tone. How you speak to someone will likely affect how they receive the information. You don’t want to come across as aggressive or threatening.
- Be mindful of your body language. Your body language says more than your voice does. Also, pay attention to the body language of the person you are speaking to. It will give you clues as to how your message is being received.
- Choose an appropriate time and place. Having an effective conversation requires dedicated attention, so make sure to minimize distractions.
- Be an active listener. Really listen to what the other person is saying. Stop focusing on what you want to say next. Try to understand the other person’s perspective and validate them by repeating and acknowledging what you heard before responding.
Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence, or EQ, is considered one of the strongest indicators of business success. At its core, EQ is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions while recognizing and responding to the emotions of others. There are five elements of emotional intelligence.
- Self-awareness. Understand how to recognize and understand your feelings and how your responses to those emotions may affect those around you.
- Self-regulation. Learn how to control your responses to those emotions and avoid triggers.
- Motivation. Understand what drives you as well as what drives others.
- Empathy. Be able to understand a situation from another person’s point of view.
- Social skills. Learn how to engage with others and make connections.
EQ is a skill you can develop. Seek feedback or take an assessment to better understand where you can improve.
Walk a Mile in Others’ Shoes
Empathy plays a big part in relationship management. It enables you to understand and see things from their perspective of the situation. You can imagine how you would feel if you were in a similar position and consider what response you would want from others allowing you to respond accordingly. Great leaders are often described as compassionate because of their ability to empathize with others.
Collaborate on Outcomes
Few people know categorically what’s best for others. Even parents don’t always get it right for their children, and it’s unlikely you’ll be able to assume you can judge what’s best for your workers or colleagues. Forget about speculating on what might be best, and instead collaborate with them to find out what ideas they have. When you work with colleagues to achieve mutual benefit, you’ll find they trust you more and respect your viewpoint.
Everyone appreciates getting recognition for their contributions and achievements. Recognition provides positive reinforcement, and lets co-workers know you appreciate their contributions and accomplishments. Giving acknowledgment to others strengthens their confidence in themselves as well as you. This point is especially true for younger generations who are still navigating their way around the workforce.
Respect is a two-way street. Most people exhibit respect through polite words and actions, but being respectful is more than that. It’s recognizing and having a deeper appreciation for your colleagues and treating them with the same deference you would want them to treat you as well.
Effective people management doesn’t only apply to the workplace. You can apply these skills to just about every relationship in your life. Which areas do you feel you could develop and strengthen?
Empowered Leadership helps businesses find freedom through business coaching, executive coaching, assessments, and training. Stacie is an entrepreneur who helps business leaders balance their time to run an effective business and enjoy their life.