Why you need to adapt your behavior to forge better work relationshipsJuly 24, 2019
“Watch what people do, not what they say.” We’ve all heard this saying before and it’s never been truer than it is today. The way you behave tells people everything they need to know about you – what you value, how you make decisions and what you do when things go wrong are all determined by your core behaviours. If you’re not seeing the performance in your business that you want, then looking at your behaviour is a great place to start finding both answers and solutions.
Understanding why you behave the way you do and how to adapt your behaviour to get better results could be the most important strategy for success in your working relationships. The businesses that get big results often employ people who are emotionally intelligent. They are self-aware and understand the impact their behaviour has on those around them. Importantly, the way you behave is absolutely linked to your ability to influence, build a brand and instil trust. Healthy, resilient and robust working relationships lead to high–performing businesses.
Conduct a behaviour audit
Before you start to change your behaviour, you need to understand what is working now and what isn’t. Now is always a good time to do an audit on how your behaviour is impacting the people around you. Start by asking yourself and others these four questions:
- What’s it like being around me?
- Where do I most add value to our relationship?
- What would you appreciate me doing more of?
- In an ideal world, what do you want me to stop doing?
There are no one-size-fits-all
In your team at work, you will have people of all different behavioural styles. Some will require lots of detail to make a decision, and others want you to ‘bottom line’ it upfront. Others are most concerned about how consistently reliable you are, and others will work better for you if they like you. If you adopt the same leadership approach with everyone, you’re missing opportunities. Everything from how much time you give someone, to how you answer the phone should be adapted if you want the other person to feel valued by you.
When forging relationships at work, there are four key elements to consider. They are equally important and deserving of your full attention.
- People – Every individual on this planet is unique and therefore so is what they need from you. Some people trust upfront and others need to watch what you do for a period of time, listening carefully and asking lots of questions (which you need to answer even when you don’t feel like it!). Knowing how to build rapport with all the types of people could be the difference between a competent business and a seriously profitable one.
- Problems – Everyone is watching how you handle the hard stuff. Are you reactive or thoughtful? Having a consultative approach often makes people feel as if they are part of something – it increases their sense of belonging and empowers them. Consider when it’s appropriate to be direct and results–focused, and when you need to focus more on nurturing the relationship.
- Pace – Matching someone’s pace is a skill we all need. We obviously need to meet and even exceed customers’ expectations in terms of delivery but, note, all relationships have pace in them. When people feel pressured or rushed they are likely to push back. If you are being too slow, then frustration will start to undermine the relationship.
- Process – Unfortunately, even if your superpower is being liked by everyone, you still need to understand that for some, getting the process right is what they value the most. It doesn’t matter if you are the most popular person in the industry if you don’t honour getting things done properly.
Human behaviour and what motivates us has so many shades of grey, and yet we are predictable. We, humans, are so complex and yet we often tell people what we need. The coping strategies we use, the way we do relationships and how we respond to others starts forming from the moment we are born. Now your challenge is to reflect and change some of your behaviours to ensure you are truly tapping into the potential of your business. The best possible results will come from you being the most adaptable and evolving the version of you.
Lisa Stephenson is the founder of Who am I Projects and author of Read Me First (Major Street Publishing), a book filled with thought-provoking coaching questions, strategies for success and life’s must-haves. Lisa draws on decades of experience as a global speaker, leadership consultant and success coach and has worked with some of the biggest global names, CEOs, elite athletes and entrepreneurs. For more information on Lisa go to www.lisastephensonconsulting.com.au