5 Secrets to Working Relationships
I love the feeling of being seen and recognized when I show up at any place of business.
We frequent the local Rita’s Italian Ice which is run by a couple from India. Her English is passable. He smiles and nods a lot. But they both give us a look of recognition when we walk up to the window. It feels like they’re glad to see us.
They remember that we like long-handled spoons. Short-handled plastic spoons are monstrosities.
I like people who like me.
Build working relationships by liking people.
5 secrets to working relationships:
#1. Notice others:
Strong working relationships begin with noticing people.
I ask the owners of Rita’s about business and personal things. For example, I ask them what they do when the store closes for the winter. By the way, she works at Walmart.
#2. Notice things that matter to others:
I notice the weather. When it’s warm and sunny, I say, “Business is going to be good today!”
Compliment good work. We recently had landscaping done. I walked around complimenting good work.
Compliment good work, even when you’re paying for it.
#3. Be playful:
At Rita’s I compliment the owner’s summer shorts and give him a thumbs up.
#4. Be glad to see others.
When you’re glad to see others, it’s easier for them to feel happy to see you.
I often begin coaching calls by saying, “I’ve been looking forward to our conversation.” Or “It’s good to see you.”
Be genuine. Before coaching calls, I think about things I respect about the person I’m speaking with.
#5. Give what you enjoy receiving.
I enjoy feeling special.
What you give to others often returns to you. When you make people feel special, they are more likely to treat you special.
How do leaders build strong working relationships?
All great, I like #5 but its also good to remember not to do # 5 with the expectation of reciprocal behavior. That could be disappointing. Feeling the return should be the bonus when it happens and not expectation.
Thanks, neecannon. I’m glad you caught that and reminded us that imposes reciprocity drains the joy and power out of relationships. Cheers
I loved reading this today, Dan. Now more than ever, we do need to notice others and these simple to execute behaviors help to connect us all. Kindness is never wasted. You have to become interested before you can become interesting.
Thanks Karen. “You have to become interested before you can become interesting.” Brilliant. Thanks for the encouragement. I wish you well.
You could take out the word “working” out of your title because this content can cross into every relationship. Kindness is never wasted. Showing people they matter is timeless and essential, especially in today’s cultural climate of angst and anger. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you, Kris. I appreciate your observation. Most leadership skills and behaviors apply to all of life. If you improve your leadership, you improve your life.
When I read about trips to the ice cream store, I feel the openness, and joy, and fun Dan is having. I feel him being present and inviting the world to join him in that space. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to work in a place like that? (and daily doses of ice cream would be ok, too!)
I’ve been thinking lately about play at work. We know that play is a way many animals , including humans bond but we exclude it from the work place. (That’s why they call it work, right? It’s not fun!) Oh, it’s allowed in carefully prescribed doses — at the quarterly fun day, maybe a joke in the kitchen on the 10 minute break. But please don’t waste our time with distractions, we have serious business to conduct.
Heaven only knows, humans are masters of taking something innocent and turning it into a chance to bully and dominate (dodge ball at school, anyone?) But if you focus on the bonding purpose of play and bring that to work what would happen?
Thanks Elizabeth. I think your idea of bringing play into the context of bonding speaks to me. It seems profound. It’s important to appreciate the reason for things we do. What is the real win? Is it feeling happy or creating and strengthening relationship bonds?
Thanks, Dan, for bringing memories of Rita’s into my day. What I wouldn’t do right now for some lemon water ice!!!!
Thanks Amy. Very flavorful. I like the gelati with root beer ice and vanilla custard. 🙂