Have you ever found yourself frustrated at trying to give people what they need? What makes one person happy may upset someone else. The reality is that we’re all wired just a bit differently, with a unique mix of experiences and needs.
When we meet a person who understands where we’re coming from and what we need, we’ll often form an instant connection. On the other hand, talking with someone who doesn’t “get us” can be downright irritating. So, what can we do to form strong connections with others? While we may not be able to make everyone happy all of the time, the following skills can make it much easier to connect with others.
1) See Things from the Other Person’s Point of View
Sure, it would be really convenient if the same approach worked with everyone! The reality is that one-size does not fit all. For example, many Project Managers tell us they often deal with stakeholders who have competing priorities. The requesting business unit wants to make sure a solution is designed with quality and is easy to use. Purchasing wants it built with that same quality at a really competitive price. And the Project Manager needs to align everyone to complete the project on-time and on-budget. Understanding a stakeholder’s priorities and communicating in ways that address them makes us more effective.
2) Focus on Building Relationships
People often say that knowledge is power. Dale Carnegie said that knowledge only becomes powerful when it is applied. As we advance in our careers, there are very few roles where technical expertise alone will allow us to succeed. This is because it’s really hard to influence someone who doesn’t trust us.
Building trusting relationships helps us to leverage our technical expertise and experience. When a customer trusts that we have their best interests in mind, they’re more likely to listen to our recommendations or award new business to us. Other team members are more likely to go the extra mile, and it’s less stressful for everyone involved.
3) Learn How to Navigate Conflict
We all have some form of conflict in our jobs. While negative conflict can be ugly, constructive conflict is healthy. We need people who think differently and approach situations from varying perspectives. When we learn how to deal with conflict in productive ways, we can make progress in areas that have been holding us back.
For example, a construction Superintendent was experiencing conflict with a key subcontractor because of missed deadlines, and he wasn’t sure what to do about it. They avoided each other whenever possible. It got so bad that when the subcontractor would drive by the Superintendent on the job site, he would actually slouch down in his seat to avoid eye contact. As we coached the Superintendent to repair trust, their relationship began to improve. Together, they found ways to address the issues that caused delays, which helped them to meet their deadlines on a consistent basis.
To learn how Dale Carnegie can help your team to be more effective, contact us at (630) 390-6050 or email@example.com.