There is an art to building fruitful relationships. Be they in our daily lives, or at the workplace, it takes time for them to evolve. We have choices to make to ensure we achieve the best from our interactions with those around us.
For most of us, whilst we might not be fully aware of it, we are riven with self-interest.
Whilst this is quite understandable – from deep in the mists of time, where we needed to look out for ourselves to survive – in our modern world, there are new, more subtle priorities to get to where we want to.
When we show others that we value them; trust them; and want to form a relationship with them, we are leaps and bounds ahead of those who demonstrate merely self-interest.
Our appreciation of others – who they are and what they stand for – is a powerful way of getting them on our side, which makes them valuable to us too.
Listening carefully to what others have to say is one of the most powerful tools for building strong interdependent relationships and yet is underutilised because we get in our own way. We are only half listening, half of the time, because we are are too interested in hearing our own inner voice with its own selfish agenda.
This shows in our manner; in our faces and in other behaviours that give away that we aren’t actually that interested in the other person. Our own ego is shouting out loud about us, which is just not what interets most other people.
As Stephen Covey says in ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People‘
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply”
If we can spend just a little time practicing truly authentic, active and attentive listening, that investment alone will create powerful interactions with others.
Setting our own agenda aside is a challenge – and by doing so we can add significant value to the relationships we have ahead of us.
The golden rule is to follow your ears. We have been given two of them.
And only one mouth.
By using them in that 2:1 proportion, we will have all the benefits of being appreciated and liked by those around us on our team.
Then they will work much more affectively as our partner in whatever ways we want from them.