Your direct reports don’t understand what you want?
Your boss doesn’t know your professional goals?
Your assistant is still confused about the most “obvious” tasks?
Yes, communication can help, but if there isn’t a relationship in place, your communication is like that proverbial tree in the forest – it may make a sound, but no one will know – no one is listening.
Creating relationship is one way to create listening.
Think about how busy we all are. We barely have the time to listen to those who are dearest to us. We must be intentional to slow down and listen, and that intention comes from our relationship with those people we care most about – our closest relationships.
Are the people you are trying to communicate with at work incentivized to listen to you? Do you feel connected with them? Is there a relationship there to draw them in? If not, you might try creating stronger relationships.
You may be thinking; That sounds hard and time consuming! I have so much work to do, now I have to create relationships with my colleagues as well? I barely have time to get through my to-do list each day!
Consider this; how much time would you save if your team understood you the first time you asked them to complete a task? How much farther might you be in your career if your boss knew exactly what your goals were? How much more fun might you have at work, if you felt understood and connected with your work mates?
Maybe this is worth a try? Worst case scenario, you continue to be a small voice in a forest with no one listening.
Coach Me Quick tips for Creating Relationships in the Work place:
- Think about the kind of communication you have with each person you interact with at the office. What percentage is direction/reporting, what percentage is acknowledgement and what percentage is conversation? Direction/Reporting is you letting them know what you would like them to do or change and them reporting back. This is simply transactional.
Acknowledgement is you acknowledging someone for a job well done or letting your colleague know you learned something from the way they handled an issue.
Conversational is questioning and listening; “how was your vacation?” “how is your mom doing” and is there anything I can do to make your job a bit easier today?”
- You may notice that quite a bit of your interaction is transactional. That would be normal of course. We have to get tasks completed at work and so directing and reporting is important. But could you alter the percentages slightly? What would it look like to add an acknowledgement every week or take the time to strike up a 2-minute conversation in the hallway that isn’t about work?
- Create measures for success. Take the time to change your communication percentages with a couple of colleagues. Make note of the percentages that you notice now and how connected the relationships are, based on their listening to you and your listening to them. Check back in a few weeks or a month later and note any changes that you have noticed.
As always, I love to hear from you – what works and what doesn’t work? Remember, we learn as much from what doesn’t work, as we do from what does.
Checking those percentages in LA,
Good solid ideas here Jamee. I have a client right now that with this bite-sized info could really help them understand why and how to shift their approach to building relationships. Thanks
Jamee Tenzer says
Thank you Eve! Let me know if it helps!