In most jobs, we work with others; a boss, co-workers or people we supervise. Even if we are self-employed, we probably work with customers or suppliers. In most situations, we work with others as a part of a team – sharing knowledge, skills, and experience.
No matter how good our work, if we cannot cooperate or communicate with others, our effectiveness will be reduced, which can affect others. Working well with people is a crucial part of our jobs.
Our feelings about the people we work or deal with and the job we do will determine how we communicate with them. We reflect anger and frustration or confidence and cooperation when we communicate and work with others. Our attitude shows when we give and receive information. If we’re willing to exchange openly and share ideas and news, we’ll be going a long way toward creating a positive working climate.
- Be confident about yourself.
- Be Friendly, supportive and cooperative. Develop a reputation for being a person you can work with comfortably.
- Be a responsible member of the team. When others are swamped, pitching in and helping others is always appreciated.
- Be considerate of others. Always show respect for the feelings, thoughts and opinions of others.
- Focus on people’s good points. No one is perfect, but almost everyone has at least a few valuable qualities.
- Avoid discussing personal matters (yours or others) if you don’t want that information repeated.
- Communicate in a relaxed, patient and pleasant manner. People respond more positively to calm discussion than to anger, sarcasm, commands or hysteria. At times in every job or relationship, you will feel your world is upside down with disaster about to strike. Work at keeping your cool. If you give the impression that all is under control, you’re much more likely to bring things back on track.
- Become conscious of how you are communicating non-verbally with others (your body language). People show their reactions through facial expressions, posture and mannerisms. Communication problems arise when what you say does not agree with how you visually act or react. The majority of communication transmits without words.
- Plan what you want to say before you speak. That way, you will avoid saying something you might regret later.
- Be straightforward in what you want to say. Talking about a topic or being ambiguous can create confusion and uncertainty.
- Avoid making statements that put people on the defensive. Use “I” statements to describe how you feel or how you are affected by an individual situation. For example, instead of saying, “You make me angry …” say, “I am concerned about …”
- Be genuinely interested in discussions and give the listeners or speakers your undivided attention. Allow the person who is speaking to finish before you respond. When you display courtesy, you will always be seen
- Make sure you understand what has been said to avoid misunderstandings. Paraphrasing or expressing what was said helps to confirm that what was said is known. Assuming you know the intention of the speaker can sometimes create problems.
- Allow everyone in a meeting the chance to discuss matters or offer suggestions. Even if you disagree with an idea, don’t shoot it down immediately. Nothing stifles input, enthusiasm and creativity faster than being negative. People appreciate having their ideas considered, and will feel more committed to the outcome.
- Give feedback or suggestions for change in private in an impartial, constructive manner.
Most of us have to work at communicating and getting along with others; it does not always come naturally.
We need to think about being treated under similar circumstances or why we’re asked to do certain things. Having a positive manner and a pleasant disposition helps others respond positively, too.
A big part of being active and productive on the job is knowing how to turn negatives into positives; for some of us, that’s not easy to do.
Understanding those we work with is essential. Sometimes it may be challenging to know why people act in specific ways, but each is unique in views, ideas, and personalities. Some people may be challenging to work with, but if we do our best to work with them positively, we can feel satisfied with doing as much as possible. Who knows – maybe our definite sparks will be catching!
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