I know many people who are highly successful at work or in business, essentially because they get on with pretty much everyone. When I see children at school who are at ease with their peers and with their teachers I think “they have a bright future ahead of them.” And when I meet very smart people who can’t relate to others I am sad that they may well struggle to succeed and their potential could be wasted.
One of the quadrants of the Leader Management Framework is People Connection. Without this connection a leader manager may well produce some results, but the staff will never work as effectively as they would have if the people connection was there.
There are many aspects to connecting with people. Some important ones are building trust, communicating effectively and valuing people. At a more basic level we need to understand people and that starts with understanding ourselves.
I have been working with a couple, whose already poor relationship has been severely strained by changed circumstances. They have been married for about thirty years and yet they have no understanding of each other’s different personality, different needs and different communication styles. Until they improve their understanding and acceptance of each other they can’t move forward.
Some of us are lucky and have somehow done that unconsciously. What can the rest of us do? Observe and learn, with a little help from books, talks or workshops.
Start by understanding your own behaviour, reactions and needs better. Become an observer of yourself. Notice what you do and how you feel, and ask yourself why.
And then do the same with those around you. Notice how people respond to you and to other people, and think about why. Adjust your behaviour towards them (whilst remaining authentic) and see if you get different responses.Try to recognise their needs, and if appropriate meet that need. What response do you get?
There are many excellent, easy to read books which can increase your understanding. There is a list on my website (“Personality Plus”, in particular, is a very funny read).
Or you can learn in a much more informal environment. Watching movies or live shows, and reading novels, are great fun ways to study human dynamics - as most of them are all about people!