Life Lessons – How to Get Along with People Even if You Don’t Like Them 5

Rarely can you accomplish all that you set out to do without the help of someone else. You don’t have to like the people you work with but you do need to learn how to get along with them. “Soft-Skills” or emotional intelligence as Daniel Goleman likes to refer them too – is a learned behavior.

Worth Remembering …

“A common core of personal and social abilities has proven to be the key ingredient in people’s success, emotional intelligence” – Daniel Goleman

Understanding yourself well and studying the behaviors of others allows you to improve your performance in relationships, both at work and at home. Your technical ability no longer guarantees success. Results of a study conducted by the HayGroup – a leading authority on emotional intelligence, shows that for most jobs that involve working with people, EQ (Emotional intelligence) is twice as important as IQ. Sixty-seven per cent of the competencies needed to manage or lead people effectively are emotionally based. (Often referred to as soft-skills – our ability to communicate and interact effectively with others)

Worth Remembering …

“In organizations where people trust and believe in each other, they don’t get into regulating and coercing behaviors. They don’t need a policy for every mistake … people in these trusting environments respond with enormous commitments and creativity” – Walter Wriston

Establishing a relationship built on mutual respect and trust is a process all humans have to go through when they meet someone for the very first time. We take direction from and hang out with people we like. Trust and respect do not come automatically – you must earn both – one person at a time. You must learn how to get along with people even if you don’t like them. Success is a team sport. Just like it takes a village to raise a child – it takes a team to manage and lead an organization. Think of someone you are having difficulty with – for what ever reason you two aren’t getting along. (This could be someone at work or at home) I want you to take on this challenge and turn that situation around. I want you to apply a 3-step process known as the 3R’s – I promise you’ll be amazed at how effective it is in establishing those all important relationships.

Step One: Rapport: Find out something about the other person other than the work they do. What are their hobbies? – Are they married? – Do they have children? – What do they like to do in their spare time? The easiest way to establish rapport with someone is to get them talking about themselves. Ask questions – get interested in them and then they will be interested in you.

Step Two: Relationship: You can’t have a relationship with anyone that you haven’t first established a rapport with. The more that you can carrying on a conversation with them on subjects that they are interested in – the more likely you are building a relationship with them. You are beginning to break down the barriers between you and the other person. You are starting to like each other.

Step Three: Respect: You won’t respect anyone that you haven’t developed a relationship with first. Respect is reciprocal. You have to give it to get it. The more that you treat someone the way you’d like to be treated the more likely it is that they will respond in kind. You get back – what you send out.

After respect comes trust. You never trust anyone you don’t respect first. If you have established mutual respect in your relationship with the other person, then they will trust you. They may not always agree with you – but they will respect the fact that you have an opinion and you have a right to express it. So go out and give it a try – You’ve got nothing to lose – but a whole lot to gain. – Hey remember – You can trust me 🙂

Take Covey’s Advice – It’s 100% in Your Control 3

I know that I can’t control everything that goes on around me. I know most outcomes are out of my hands. But I do know that I can control how I choose to react in any given situation. I know that in that space between stimulus and response that Dr. Covey talked about – and what Dr. Viktor Frankl knew to be true from his own life experiences – that I must learn to react in a way that will get me what I want. Everything you do in life is a matter of choice. You may not like the choices that you have to choose from – but it is a choice.

“If you change the way you look at things. The things you look at will change” – Unknown

Having a relationship with my son was and still is very important to me. (I was not his most favorite person when his mother and I were going through our divorce) But I knew that if I wanted to have a good relationship with my son I had to have a good relationship with his mother. I had a choice to make. The divorce could be adversarial or not. I could choose to be confrontational and drag out the divorce proceedings, or I could choose to be open and receptive and negotiate a settlement that his mother and I could agree on. I knew that if I wanted what I wanted – which was a relationship with my son – then I needed to react in a way that was going to accomplish that. My ex-wife will always be my sons mother and my granddaughters grandmother whether we were married or not. Nothing I could do would ever change that. It is what it is – it would make no never mind.

“Everything can be taken away from man but one thing – to choose – one’s own attitude in a given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor Frankl

I’m happy to say that my ex-wife and I have a great relationship. She is one of my very best friends. I know that I can turn to her for help when I need it and she knows she can count on me if and when she needs my help. (That’s what friends do) That’s a conscious choice I made.

Attitude really is everything. I’m talking about yours, not the people you work with and interact with on a daily basis. If you think about it – your attitude is the only thing you can control 100% of the time. Only you get to decide how you want to react to any given situation. Yes it’s true – other people or events may be the motivating factor that got you to react a certain way – but only you can mentally or physically do it. No one else can do it for you. You are the only one who can give that kind of power over you away. Take Covey’s advice. In that space between stimulus and response think about what you want to accomplish and then respond in a way that will get you what you want. Remember – It’s 100% in your control. – Cheers, 🙂

Managing for Results – The Art of Managing & Leading in the 21st Century

What kind of training are you providing your managers and potential leaders? Mark September 11 & 12th down on your calendar and have them attend this high-intensity, very interactive 2-day skills development workshop. You won’t be sorry you did. The traditional role of the manager has changed. New leadership skills are required for the workplace of today and the next decade. Make a commitment. Don’t put their career or your organization at risk – have them learn how to manage the 21st Century way.

Managing for Results – The Art of Managing & Leading in the 21st Century.

If You Think They’re Listening – Think Again

How often have you been in a conversation with someone and their body language is telling you that they aren’t interested in you – or what you have to say – simply by the non-verbal messages they are sending you? (Scooping the room to see if there is someone more interesting to talk too, looking down at their watch, retrieving messages on their smart phone or being easily distracted by people walking by) If it looks like they aren’t interested – trust me – they aren’t interested.  Think about that the next time you are having an important conversation with someone. If you want others to be interested in you – you must demonstrate that you are interested in them. And to do that you have to learn how to “Actively” listen.

Dr. Ralph Nichols – a communication’s expert – suggests that we communicate 40% of the time by listening.  A recent survey revealed that individuals listen about 25% of the time; most people recall only 50% of what they hear, and 70% of all misunderstandings happen because people do not listen to each other. (Two monologues do not make a dialogue) According to Dr. Nichols grade school aged children listen to their teacher just 25% of the time. By the time young people graduate from high school they are listening to the teacher just 17% of the time. And by the time they graduate college they are listening to the professor just 12% of the time. How much do you think they are listening by the time they go out into the workforce or meet up with you at a networking event?

We are not born good listeners – but we can learn how. The next time you have an opportunity to listen to someone try to be actively involved in the conversation by developing/demonstrating these five active listening skills:

1. – Try restating and summarizing what the speaker said by saying it back to them. (So what you are saying is …..)

2. – Paraphrase what the speaker said by repeating it as accurately as you can using your own words. It goes beyond restating and summarizing because you are giving the speaker your interpretation of what you heard them say.

3. – Use non-words and simple gestures to show the speaker that you are listening.  Nod your head, smile and use non-words like ah …, yeah, hmmmm, oh …. work great.

4 – Supporting statements like – “Go on, tell me more” or “then what happened? and “I see what you mean” are another way to verbally acknowledge the other person.

5 – Always keep in mind that non-verbal messages must be congruent with your verbal messages. Most adults believe the non-verbal as being more accurate. You communicate 38% of the time by the tone of your voice and an astounding 55% of the time by body language alone.  (Rolling your eyes, looking down at your watch, yawning or tapping the floor with your toe is telling the other person what you really think.

Active listening is as important to communication as effective speaking. To really listen requires mental focus, verbal paraphrasing and attention to non-verbal cues like tones, gestures, and facial expressions. The more that you can dial into the other person’s am radio station – MMFIAM (Make Me Feel Important And More) – the more likely they’ll “tune” into you. – Cheers, 🙂