Just a few days ago was a rather insightful report on the Today paper regarding how leaders can work better with others. Curt Grayson and Jean Leslie presented easy-to-digest points on this topic. With due credits to them, I must say these points will definitely help make your work-life easier.
These are what they said about the ways to build rapport with others and improve the cooperative spirit:
1 CHOOSE THE POSITIVE
Good relationships are based on handling problems in a positive way. Avoid creating adversarial relationships or alienating others.
2 BE A DIPLOMAT
Negotiating, giving feedback, sharing news and making decisions require good timing and common sense. Be mindful of the whole picture and make your points at the most appropriate time.
3 FIND COMMON GROUND
Shared goals, similar challenges or areas of agreement are great starting points to accomplish work and build relationships. Work to find common ground in when dealing with conflict or complexity.
4 KEEP COOL
Can you handle unfair attacks with poise? Are you steady when tension is high? Keep cool; avoid defensiveness or counterattacks.
5 AVOID ISOLATION
Don’t limit your associations and relationships. Learn to relate to all kinds of individuals tactfully, from shop floor to top executives. Find ways to talk with staff members who are older or more experienced than you, as well as those who are younger.
6 EXPAND YOUR VIEW
Strive to understand others’ perspectives and needs.
Active listening is essential. Listen carefully to people’s needs at all levels in the organization — when things are going well and even when they are not.
8 SHARE INFORMATION
Communicate well and communicate often. Keep people informed of any future changes that might impact on them.
9 INVOLVE OTHERS
Encourage direct reports to share ideas and information. Involve others in the beginning stages of an initiative or decision. Work to gain the commitment of others before implementing changes. Your relationships will improve when people are motivated to work together.
10 BE REALISTIC
Recognise that every decision has conflicting interests and constituencies, but with strong relationships, you can work through challenges from a platform of cooperation, trust and respect.
Good relationships are the key to leadership networking — another indispensable leadership skill. A robust leadership network helps leaders solve problems and create opportunities in organisations where working across boundaries or through informal channels is a large part of the job.