We all want to be accepted and well liked by our staff and colleagues, if for no other reason than that it makes our task as managers so much easier. Managers should be easy to get along with and understand other people. If you want to win friends within your organisation, here are some well-proven principles for you to consider…
1. Always be open and honest.
Gain a reputation for being a straightshooter. To be open with people, you will need three qualities:
- Expressing your own views openly and accepting responsibility for your own actions.
- Reacting honestly to incoming information. Indeed, where an important decision is required from you, disagreement is often better than indifference.
- Making sure that other people are quite clear where you stand on a particular issue.
2. Empathise with other people.
If we make a practice of putting ourselves into the shoes of other people, we will understand far better the feelings of our staff members and colleagues. Although we can’t ‘own’ another person’s feelings, we can say that we understand how we’d feel under the same circumstances. We win points for empathising with others.
3. Be known as one who espouses equality.
Do all you can to ensure that your work place recognises that everyone is worthwhile and valuable, and has something important to contribute to the organisation’s success.
4. Listen to what people are saying.
People will know if you’re really concerned about their welfare. Showing an interest in what they’re saying is one clear indicator of this concern. So pay attention, maintain eye contact, concentrate on what is being said, and respond warmly.
5. Try not to impose your expectations on others.
One of the most common causes of tension in any relationship is other people’s failure to meet or satisfy our expections. If you have particular expectations of others – expectations important to you and the organisation, make certain you share them with your staff. You can only ask them to do their best.
6. Gain a reputation for being supportive.
People work best in a non-threatening environment, one in which they feel free to say what they think rather than what they think you want them to say. They need to feel that your relationship with them is openly supportive. When you offer this support, they will make every attempt not to let you down.
7. Be positive.
A positive attitude will affect all those with whom you come in contact. Here are three steps you can take right now:
- Think positively about yourself. Believe that you’re OK. Others will respond to you in the same way.
- Get others to feel good about themselves too.
- Encourage a favourable exchange of communication among all those with whom you come in contact.
8. Embrace these classic principles for gaining the esteem of others.
For over half a century, the advice of Norman Vincent Peale (in ‘The Power of Positive Thinking‘ p.263.) has worked for many people. There is no reason that it wouldn’t work for you, too…
- Learn to remember names. Laziness in this area may indicate that you are not sincerely interested in other people. Names are very important to some people.
- Be a comfortable person so that there is no strain in being with you. Be an ‘old shoe’ kind of individual.
- Become relaxed and easy-going. Don’t let things ruffle you.
- Don’t be egotistical. Guard against being a know-all. Be natural and humble.
- Cultivate the quality of being stimulating and interesting so that people will want to be with you and to get something from you.
- Determine and eliminate the abrasive elements from your personality.
- Sincerely attempt to heal every misunderstanding you have had or now have. Drain off your grievances.
- Practise liking people until you learn to do so genuinely. Will Rogers said, ‘I never met a man I didn’t like.’ Try to be that way.
- Never miss an opportunity to congratulate anyone on achievement, or express sympathy in disappointment.
- Listen more than you speak; smile more than you frown; laugh with, rather than at, others; and watch your manners whether you feel chipper or not.
- Finally, remember that ‘there is a curious quirk in human nature: some people just naturally won’t like you’.
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