Category: Workplace Communication

How To Build Positive Relationships At Work

Five Person Holding Mobile Phones

“No man is an Island; entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent.”- John Donne, poet

No man is an Island, according to John Donne. You are part of a team. You are not alone. You can’t succeed on your own; you need people to help you succeed. In order to succeed with people, and to be part of a happy team, you need to develop strong people management skills. Below are some tips that will help you do just that:

Be a happy person. If you want to attract people into your world, you need to be a happy person. Don’t fake it. People want to be around people they like. They want to work with coworkers who are warm, happy, respectful, and enthusiastic. No body want to be around a pessimist. If you want people to be around you, be an optimist.

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is within yourself, in your way of thinking.”- Marcus Aurelius

“Happiness can exist only in acceptance.”- George Orwell

Be authentic. People trust authentic people. When people trust you, building a positive relationship will be easier for you. But if they don’t trust you, nothing you can do to bring them into your world. Trust is everything. A relationship without trust is a temporary relationship. Everything will collapse. Again, trust is everything. Be real!

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”- Thomas Jefferson

Preparation, preparation, preparation. When you are ready, people are ready. People like to work with people or coworkers who are ALWAYS prepared before coming to work. You cannot be a trusted team member when you lack the discipline to prepare before a meeting. People will not depend on you. Preparation is the key to success in life. Without preparation, you are setting yourself up for failure.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”- Benjamin Franklin

“I will prepare and some day my chance will come.”- Abraham Lincoln

Be a great listener. To be a great listener, you have to listen with a clear mind. Show that you are interested in what your colleagues are saying. Give them time to finish before you jump into the conversation. Listen to people to learn, not to judge. Great leaders are great listeners. They listen to learn from their employees, customers, and managers, not to judge them. If you want to enjoy your work, be a great listener.

“Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.”- Andre Gide, author


5 Things That Prevent People from Listening

Listening is the most important thing in communication. Listening is vital to our survival in life. Listening helps us make the right decisions. Sometimes, people choose what they want to hear, which has the potential to change the meaning and understanding of the conversation.

The question is: “Why are people not listening?”

Here are some reasons why people don’t listen to others:

They don’t want to take responsibility:

This happens a lot. It is very easy to blame others when things are going wrong. But the main reason as to why people blame others is to prevent or avoid taking responsibility. What they don’t understand is that if you shy away from taking responsibility, you are escaping the opportunity to grow.

Responsibilities prepare you for future challenges

They believe the other guy is responsible for the problem. This happens a lot in a toxic organization, which is organization where taking responsibility is NOT in their DNA.

Don’t blame others, take responsibility for your situation. 

Fear of Criticism:

When people don’t want others to make their valued points, they defend themselves. The reason for defending themselves is, they don’t want to be criticized.

When you find yourself in this situation, try the following strategies:

  • Don’t defend yourself.
  • Open up your mind.
  • Listen to others, you will learn more from them.

Listen to others to learn from them, not to find fault with them

Listen to learn, not to talk. A great communicator listens more than they talk. If you talk a lot, you leave out a lot.

They are not Interested in Others:

People don’t listen to others because they are not interested in what others have to say. When you listen to other people, you will learn more about the world, you will learn more about yourself, and you will learn how others think.

If you don’t know how to connect positively with others, don’t be angry, you are not alone. Find ways you can handle it.

You can reduce this problem by reaching out to people. Find out what you have in common, explore it. Also, find out what is new to you, explore and understand it. That is where knowledge and awareness are going to come from.

Your knowledge and awareness increase when you explore and understand new experiences.

Lack of Trust:

Nothing important happens without trust. Some people don’t listen to others because they are afraid that others will take advantage of them. As a result, they prefer to not listen to anyone. The problem with this strategy is: it stops the flow of knowledge from a more senior employee to their junior staff. Or the other way round. According to Stephen M.R. Covey, in his book, The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything, defined Trust as: “Trust means confidence. The opposite of trust – distrust- is suspicion. When you trust people, you have confidence in them- in their integrity and in their abilities. When you distrust people, you are suspicious of them- of their integrity, their agenda, their capabilities, or their track record.”

They Are Always Right:

Some people don’t listen to others because they believe they are always right, while others are wrong. Wrong!

“Don’t fight to be right, but fight when you are right.” – Amit Kalantri

Don’t wait to prove your point, wait to listen, learn, and to understand what’s been said. Dr. M. Scott Peck, the author of the book, The Road Less Traveled, said, “By far the most common and important way in which we can exercise our attention is by listening.” He added by saying that: “We spend enormous amount of time listening, most of which we waste, because on the whole most of us listen very poorly.