No one wants to be the black sheep in the team. People are social creatures: we need and it is important to communicate, including at work, where we spend a significant part of our time. Tensions at work can lead to some problems, such as constant stress, emotional overwork, and, as a result, a forced job change. Why can communication with colleagues not develop and how to correct the situation? We have put together a step-by-step guide to help you that has 10 steps to improve relationships at work.
Step 1. Look for the problem in yourself
If you have already repeatedly changed the company or several times moved to another department within the same place of work and at the same time experienced communication problems everywhere, then it’s time to finally think about what is wrong with me, why can’t I find a common language with people?
“When analyzing the situation, explanations will surely appear: either you are unsociable in life, or you don’t know how to ask questions, or you don’t provide feedback, or you are such a critic that everyone is tired of you, or a bad professional,” says business coach Elena Kokhnenko. “There can be many reasons, but until a person takes up the analysis of what is happening, the situation will not change.”
Step 2. Seek help from an HR specialist, psychologist or colleagues
Often it is the employee of the HR department of the company who is watching the situation from the outside, who can help solve the problem of tensions in the team. If there is a psychologist in your organization , do not hesitate to go to him with this question – this is not a “nonsense story”, it is important to solve it, your career and condition in general largely depend on this.
You can also talk directly with colleagues. Surely among them some will help and tell you what is wrong. You can ask everyone’s opinion individually or gather a kind of round table to chat in an informal setting: buy sweets for tea and invite colleagues to a meeting.
Step 3. Work on personality traits
After you have identified your weaknesses during the second step, you can send out to your friends and colleagues with whom you have the most trusting relationship, this question: what are my five best character traits . After analyzing their answers, you can develop your strengths and focus on them when building relationships in a team.
“What do you think it is necessary to develop more actively – strengths or weaknesses? The right decision would be to work on the strengths, ”says Elena Kokhnenko .
Step 4. Build a Relationship Map
This method is recommended by HR specialist Elena Filyanova. Choose from three to five people who have the greatest impact on your effectiveness at work. Set up a meeting with them and ask them what they miss from you during their work: feedback, a positive outlook on things, efficiency, involvement, and so on.
We recommend holding such meetings at least once a year, even if relations with the team have improved – such sessions help to calibrate the settings of internal processes, double-check the accuracy of relationships, update work algorithms, and clarify misunderstandings on non-working issues. After such conversations, relations between colleagues, as a rule, become much better, because it is not necessary to love each other, but you can agree with each other on how not to let down or annoy.
“During the meetings, a lot of interesting things are revealed,” Elena Filyanova shares her experience . – For example, one employee thought that he was treated badly in the team because he was not invited to a joint lunch. It turned out that he was not invited, as he was very busy, and colleagues were sure that he would refuse. People often have their own erroneous view of the situation. And if it is not clarified, it will only become more complicated – hence mutual insults, misunderstandings and claims.
Step 5. Participate in the corporate life of the company
Each person has their own perception of the world. It dictates to us the actions that we perform, based on our vision of the situation.
“Companies always employ people with different values. For some, this is work, they care exclusively for their department, their performance, they will not go home until they have done everything that is planned, – coach Maria Zhirkova gives an example . – Others have a family and a home: they continue to solve personal matters during the working day and they can leave because of them earlier or take a day off. Conflict often brews between these types of employees . Therefore, many companies develop their personnel service in such a way that the personal values of employees unite the team.”
For these purposes, there are corporate events where people manage to communicate outside the working situation, understand the motives of each other’s behaviour & discern in those who are annoyed with the dissonance in their views, something that can be close. It is enough to talk with a colleague in an informal setting, and you will find out that, for example, his daughter is growing up, the same age as yours, or you both love cycling – you can always find common ground.
Step 6. Be tolerant and loyal to colleagues, accept their picture of the world
At the moment of solving any issue, everyone gives arguments based on their values, dictated by their personal perception of the world. To be able to muffle your subjective opinion and be loyal to the position of others is an invaluable quality for negotiating.
Step 7. Respect colleagues and do not violate their boundaries
Ilgiz Valinurov, director of the Business Connection recruitment agencies corporation , notes that the most common reason for conflicts and misunderstandings is that a person does not try to build relationships with others. If you begin to appreciate colleagues not only as professionals, but treat them with respect as a whole as individuals, they will certainly appreciate it.
Step 8. Make a list of good deeds
Any result is made up of small actions. “Everything complex is decomposed into simple things,” explains Ilgiz Valinurov . “If you need to improve your relationship with a colleague, write a list of 5-10 things to do.”
Let’s say you don’t have a relationship with your CFO. Here is an example of a simple checklist for improving the situation:
- Say hello politely in the morning, and do not forget to say goodbye in the evening;
- Make a small, non-binding present – a newly released issue of a financial magazine;
- Turn to the financial director for advice – everyone likes to be perceived as an expert.
Step 9. Work with your expectations
According to the entrepreneur and business coach Denis Rodionov, relationships with others often do not work out when a person has certain expectations of how they should be treated, but they systematically do not come true, and he is endlessly upset about this.
It is important to understand that people are not obliged to love you: they do what they think is right and right. “This issue is directly related to the development of a person’s personality,” says Denis Rodionov. “According to an often repeated scenario, an undeveloped personality falls into conflict with others who signal to him that it is time to change.” The more personally developed a person is, the less expectations he has from others: it is easier for him to find common ground with different people, compromise , and resolve conflicts.
Step 10. Study psychotypes
We are all different. And our psychotypes cannot but affect our manner of communicating and working – this is important to consider.
“For example, the rational plans everything,” says HR specialist Liya Sergeeva . – And the irrational acts according to circumstances. There is a difference between logicians who try to structure their activities and ethicists who, like me, do not plan anything. These psychetypes can both cooperate and conflict. The leader should rely on more responsible people, and the irrational should designate deadlines, and then his rational colleague will be able to influence the other with these reference points.
In one team, sometimes there are different types of leaders – emotional, powerful and intellectual. But they can be completely separated: the powerful one will go forward and lead, and the emotional one will inspire and infect. If you put two emotional or two powerful leaders in one team and for one task, then you will have to share areas of responsibility between them, otherwise they will butt heads.
According to Liya Sergeeva , each person has clear dominants. The manager needs to understand the psychotype and the strengths and weaknesses of the employee, and what part of the business processes can be trusted to him. For example, a tactician can manage projects but not people.
To learn the psychology of typology, you can attend training or read books on psychic types. But experience comes only with real practice. If there is no experience in this matter, then it is better to lead, simply based on your own intuition. “I have such colleagues from recruitment agencies who take money for typing, but they do it very badly, as a result they give the wrong assessment and incorrectly refer candidates,” Liya Sergeeva gives an example . “This is a very dangerous weapon. If you don’t know how to do it, then it’s better to go learn.”
Leadership specialist Radislav Gandapas says that forgiveness or resentment is a childish reaction model. In adult years, we must come to understand that a person does the best that he is capable of. And if your colleague is constantly in conflict, does not accept criticism, then his personal development is at a low level. It’s not worth getting angry at him. But if you want colleagues to respect you and build relationships with you, you need to develop not only as a pro, but also as a person.
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