How do you grow trust and confidence using conversation success strategies? You struggle to connect with the team of people you are in charge of. You would like your work relationships to be better. Or, this is your first supervisory role. Where to start to grow productive relationships with your people.
Here’s some advice to help build strong relationships characterized by conversation success. This may also help you identify where you are going wrong and what you need to fix to turn things around.
Get to know the people you work with.
Some people believe that when you are at work, the most important thing is to get the job done. So they focus on the task at hand, forgetting they are dealing with people who have feelings and differing levels of need around work relationships.
Focusing on the job at hand, at the expense of building strong working relationships, doesn’t necessarily help build mutual respect and understanding. In fact, it can work against getting the job done!
Consider how it feels when other people acknowledge you with a “thank you” and a smile; how about when they take an interest by asking about your day; perhaps ask what you did on your holidays and even take the time to find out what books you are reading or films you have seen. These are great conversation starters and its what you must do to build trust and confidence with others.
Isn’t it interesting how those who have this people-focused approach stand out as likable? Others go out of their way to help them out and work with them. When you use this technique you are well on the way to building trust and confidence and conversation success. You too will be one of those likable people.
Remove all assumptions.
If you want to build relationships fast, it is important to ensure that you are not making assumptions when you discuss things with others. After you have been given, or receive, an instruction the key is to follow up by using reflective listening techniques. That is, checking in with the other person what they meant by paraphrasing their instruction or asking about their understanding.
This important technique is often overlooked because people frequently assume they have heard or understood. The idea is that you take the time to explore with the other person your understanding or how well you have communicated with them so that you can mutually agree and remove confusion. Another conversation success strategy!
In any job, you may need or want help to grow your ability to build strong working relationships. However, many people assume that asking for help shows weakness.
While you want to make sure that you are not seen as unable to produce, you will find it useful to seek help from other, more experienced people throughout your career. Frequently, it is as simple as discussing your goals or objectives with your boss and asking if they would be prepared to coach you.
Your boss is in a perfect position to act as your coach, and although this might be one of your expectations, it is important to discuss what you would like coaching on, how much coaching you might want, when you might want it and how to receive it – before you start. If it doesn’t suit your boss then, perhaps you could ask for their recommendation about who would be a good person to approach and if they would introduce you.
Building Agreement On How To Communicate.
When you are the leader, your team needs to know what the rules of communication are. That is, what, how, when, how frequently, and what different ways you will communicate.
This could be as simple as arranging 1:1 meetings for informal catch-ups and regular monthly meetings with the whole team where you have a more formal communication style. Before you set this up, have a chat with each of your people to find out what they would prefer and then orchestrate how you will balance your communication goals with their needs. You will find this approach gets their buy-in a whole lot faster.
These types of agreements are critical to building a high-performance team. The greater you may construct common ground here, the greater success you may be. While the answers to these questions may evolve as the team matures and you grow in your role, if you are consistent with your messages and your communication patterns, trust builds.
These conversations will evolve over a period of time. If you have been in your role for a while, perhaps this will help you find areas for new and more effective ways to communicate. Either way, success in these conversations will lead to greater trust and confidence for you as a leader, higher productivity from your team, an opportunity to manage your boss, less stress, and better working relationships. Who wouldn’t want that?