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Essential Skills for Working With Others

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 12:45 PM | Christy Hendricks (Administrator)

There are certain essential skills and habits that can help you work well with others. Fostering these habits can lead to greater business opportunities, increased sales, and a more positive experience for yourself, your team, and your associates. Learning to work well with others is crucial to having a thriving business. Although each of these skills and habits are small on their own, they add up to a larger impact overall.

Some of the following skills may seem obvious to you, but they’re important to keep in mind – otherwise their mention wouldn’t be required! Although, this isn’t a complete list of the skills and habits you need to succeed, it is a great place to start. Most of these skills you probably utilize in other parts of your life; making them business habits might be your key to success.

Your Most Powerful Tool

The simple act of smiling is your most powerful relationship tool. People who smile regularly are often happier and more successful. A smile is the easiest way to enhance interpersonal communication. Smiling can benefit you in any workplace context. It can improve your mood and open others to receiving you message. Smiles can even be recognized over the phone!

Respect Boundaries

Whether doing business online or in-person, respect the boundaries of others and set boundaries of your own.

Try not to share too much of your personal life when you first meet a new business associate – everyone has a different level of comfort when it comes to sharing and/or hearing personal information. Of course, these boundaries will differ from person to person and change as your relationship develops. Clear boundaries are key to effective business relationships.

Silence Your Phone and Just be Present

Given texts, calls, e-mails, and social media notifications, we’re constantly connected to our phones. Repetitive notifications can be a major distraction. When meeting with someone either online or in-person, turn it off (or at least on silent) and put it away. Quickly reading a text message or checking updates when someone else is speaking is rude and takes your presence out of the room. It also interrupts your own workflow. Instead, check your messages or make quick calls during breaks or lunch.

Learn to Let Go

Disputes are inevitable in business relationships, just as in personal ones. When they happen, it can be difficult to repair the relationship and work together effectively again. If the disagreement is resolved, the best thing that you can do is move on; focus on the resolution and the work ahead of you.

If tension around the dispute remains, find a way to fairly and effectively talk about it. If the other person is still upset after the dispute, do what you can to make things right between the two of you.

Wait for the Right Moment

We’ve all been in the middle of a discussion, only to be constantly interrupted. It’s annoying, isn’t it? That’s why it’s important to never become “the interrupter.” You may think of a great idea while someone else is speaking; instead of interrupting, take a breath and relax. Jot down your idea so that you don’t forget it. When you have a chance to speak, share your ideas. Those around you will be more receptive to new ideas when presented at an appropriate time.

Recognize the Contributions of Others

Whenever warranted, share credit with your team members. This is a clear way to show not only that you work well with others, but genuinely value their input. Sharing credit builds respect between you and those with whom you work. When you share credit with others, they’ll look forward to working with you on future projects.

Conversely, failing to give credit where credit is due, could result in you developing a reputation as being selfish or willing to sabotage others in order to succeed. A little humility goes a long way.

Share What Resources You've Found Helpful

As a business owner, you run across and use multiple resources throughout the course of your week. If you find them helpful in running your business, it’s likely that others will, as well. Don’t be stingy! Share what you discover, and others will be grateful to you when your recommendations solve their problems.

These resources may include the following:
·        conferences and webinars
·        training sessions and courses
·        apps and software
·        groups and communities

If you find a resource you think could benefit your team or business associates, don’t hesitate to share it!

Follow Through

When planning your schedule, allow enough time to complete projects on time; this includes planning extra time for unexpected mishaps. It’s always better to give yourself more time than you think you need to finish a project, rather than to underestimate and miss a deadline. Divide projects into parts and set specific trigger dates to keep yourself on track. By scheduling ample time and planning ahead, you can avoid disappointing your team, your associates, your clients, or yourself.

Aim to surpass expectations. One way to do this is to follow up, whenever possible. This accomplishes two things:

  1.     It strengthens business relationships and instills confidence in your work.
  2.     It provides you with important feedback.

Own Your Mistakes

Take responsibility for your actions, especially when something goes wrong. No one is perfect; we all make mistakes. Failing to claim ownership of your mistakes gives the impression you aren’t in control. You’re also denying yourself the opportunity to learn and improve.

You’ll probably notice two things when you claim responsibility. First, others will probably be more willing to help you correct the problem and help you succeed. Second, these same people will trust that you’re an honest person who would never place the blame on someone else.

Work Collaboratively

It’s sometimes tempting to think you know the best way to go about a project. However, it’s always a good idea to keep an open mind. This is an especially good practice when you’re a business owner. When working closely on a project, it’s easy to miss alternate solutions. If you regularly disregard different approaches, you might come across as inflexible. When this happens, it is difficult to foster an open, creative workplace.

By working collaboratively, your passion for the project over your own ego is clear. Because everyone has different strengths and problem-solving processes, collaboration has the potential to preemptively solve issues and develop great ideas much faster.

Sure, you're the boss, but even solo-preneurs can't escape working with others, whether you're working with co-founders, freelancers, associates, or staff. In the end, it really all comes down to showing respect and walking with integrity.

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