Building Relationships

Building Relationships

sb blog 2

Recently at DAVIS, we have started to really talk about what relationships mean to us and their effect on our day to day interactions. We all know the meaning of ‘Relationship’ and the need to have a positive relationship because of the effect is has on our lives, be it personal or professional, but what are some of the steps to increasing these positive relationships? Listed below are two steps that I find to be most important to me in building successful and trusting relationships.

Active listening.  Which seems so logical, however we often have our smart phones or laptops in front of us and we are scrolling through emails or social media, while putting minimal effort into actively listening (on average people only listen to 25% of conversations).

Listening to understand versus listening to respond is another part of active listening.  Understanding what is really being said by looking at the persons body language or asking questions on the subject being discussed helps the engagement level of the conversation.  This act of engagement further strengthens the collaboration between you and this individual, and as we know, engaged employees feel a better sense of stability and happiness in their job and company.

Asking Questions.  As mentioned above, asking questions also seems pretty logical, but how many times do we end a conversation and have to go back to the individual with follow up questions because we were preoccupied and not actively listening?

Asking questions doesn’t always have to be related to work.  In a recent discussion with some colleagues about effective 1:1’s, an individual talked about changing the normal “How’s it going” question to some that really get a conversation going to build that trusting relationship:

  • Tell me about your week?
  • What are things I can help you with?
  • How are you doing/feeling?

Another colleague brought the idea of ‘What’ questions versus ‘Why’ questions – because ‘What’ questions help start conversations and ‘Why’ questions bring a level of negative thinking, embarrassment, and sometimes hostility.

An article I read recently on listed out behaviors that helped build better workplace relationships and not only did it resonate, but I think it was a great tie in to this post:

Remembering in the age of social media to be kind and remember there is another person on the end of your email, text or IM.  Personalizing your messages and your responses and starting with “Hi {first name},” is a simple way to remind yourself that you are building a relationship instead of barking orders or requests to a machine.

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