Positive relationships are the basic foundation of any societal structure, be it, work, school, family, or community.
Building these relationships can take time and effort – a good marriage is made by working together over years, a close community is formed when many people have a common goal, and a workplace is happier and more productive when colleagues feel inspired by and connected to each other.
Understanding the basic principles for building positive relationships is vital for a successful, industrious and thriving company. Knowing how to get along with other people is a key part of this success.
The tips below will help you to develop positive, strong relationships, not just within the workplace but also within the wider community and at home.
1. Cultural Awareness, Difference and Acceptance.
It is likely that this is one of the most challenging aspects of relationships.
We all have opinions, ideas, and conceptions about what we believe which have been developed from birth and instilled into us by our parents, friends, family and life experiences. It is also probable that these will be different to other people we come into contact with, and this can cause tension.
Our personal expectations are often placed onto others as we assume they will think, act and feel the same way that we do. However, this is often only the case in certain circumstances.
Individuals who have been raised in a different culture, or who have had vastly different life experiences, will have a wholly different perspective,
This difference can cause problems within the workplace, especially if expectations are not met, as we then begin to feel let down, or disappointed. Business deals can fall through, work colleagues can become divided, and disputes can arise.
A way to avoid these issues is through understanding and appreciation.
Cultural awareness courses offer an ideal route into the mindset, character and traits of different cultures, religions and backgrounds. All of which can help to inform and educate, allowing us the opportunity to accept these differences and embrace human variety.
We might even learn a thing or two!
2. Active Listening
Listening effectively is a vital skill in increasing another person’s self-worth and confidence. If they believe you are actively listening to their perspective they will be encouraged to share, be open and forthcoming, and more inclined to listen to your views in return.
Communication is made easier when those involved feel they have been heard and given an opportunity to express themselves clearly and without judgement.
Active listening involves truly listening to what the other person is saying, taking the time to stop other tasks, repeating key phrases to check your understanding, and paraphrasing to show interest and comprehension. These key points highlight that you have given your full attention to the speaker, making them feel valued and respected.
To have someone really listen to our views boosts our self-esteem and encourages communication confidence.
3. The Gift of Time
Time is a valuable commodity for all of us, so if we willingly give our time, and focus all our attention on another person in order to communicate, listen, and support them, they are likely to be very flattered.
Building a good rapport with loved ones, colleagues, and friends, means making an extra special effort to find the time to just stop and be present for them.
Put down technology, listen to their concerns, be aware of their right to have different views, opinions and beliefs to you, and devote yourself to connecting with them for the time that you are sharing.
4. Communication is Key
Developing your communication skills is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself. The rewards include improved relationships, increased happiness, higher motivation and greater satisfaction.
However, as with active listening, effective communication is far more involved than simply having a two-way conversation.
Misunderstanding is one of the main problems within communication. This can lead to a culture of placing blame, ‘back stabbing’, gossip, and low-morale.
Ensure others have understood you by using similar techniques to active listening – repeat key phrases, paraphrase your points, and ask for validation that they have understood.
Be clear in your communication and don’t be afraid to ask someone to clarify either your view, or theirs.
5. Empathy and Understanding
By adopting the talents above into all your daily interactions, you should begin to develop a greater understanding and empathy for those around you.
While they may forget exactly what you said or did, they won’t forget that you made them feel valued, special and understood.
Encouraging someone to express themselves without fear of judgement, unwanted advice, or a ‘magic solution’, while still being able to relate and understand their perspective, is a great skill that takes time to master, but it is definitely worth pursuing.
Empathy and understanding builds trust, fulfilment, friendship, and satisfaction – the cornerstones of all relationships.
Taking the time to work on these skills will pay dividends in the long run. If you are unsure as to how to progress your talents it is worth considering formal training in some of the elements mentioned above, as this can provide helpful insights from experienced mentors and can advance your skills with authority.
If you require assistance with training courses please contact Creative Word and we’ll be happy to share our expertise with you.