How You Say It…

I had a realization today that wasn’t altogether pleasant, but was definitely a moment to learn from. I’ve always know that how you say a thing matters more than what you say, but today it landed home that I am not paying as much attention to that as I thought.

My boyfriend and I were rearranging the apartment to make things more welcoming comfortable, and he asked a couple of questions. I asked him what he thought of the layout we’d managed so far and he suggested moving something. It made sense to me, so I said “ok” and started moving it.

He suddenly got very serious and said “Are we ok?” Apparently in my focused work mode I had been giving one-word answers for quite a while, and he thought I was upset with him about something.

You see, I’m not naturally good with people. When I’m not thinking about my delivery I fall back into thoughtless, efficient communication. In this case, as I’m sure has been true many times in the past, my body language and tone were coming off as upset or annoyed when I was neither of those things.

No good! Very Bad! 😦

So, we got into a bit of a conversation about it, and my love gave me some wonderful advice. Specifically, as it applies to avoiding having a similar misunderstanding of this nature at work in the future.

It was simple and beautiful. “Treat your coworkers like you would customers.” 

I have all the best intentions and regard my coworkers fondly, I simply have the verbal equivalent of resting bitch face. I get casual with my coworkers and stop focusing on my communication when I am really focused on my work. By treating my coworkers like I treat customers, I will be sure to talk to give them my full attention and, in doing so, not fall into the speech patterns that make people think I am annoyed with them when I am not.

A leader needs to be good with people, whether naturally or through a intentional practice, and this is something I work on on a daily basis. By taking my love’s advice to heart, I genuinely believe I can avoid my most common miscommunication.

Are you good with people naturally? Or do you have some tricks for getting along well?

*Credit for the featured image

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Exciting Professional Development Update

Kicking off my Designing Learning Certificate through the Association for Talent Development today. Three days of intensive instruction about Instruction Systems Design, including foundational concepts like ADDIE and learning science as well as practical application and evaluation of learning impact. 

I’m really excited to take this information and apply it in my work to help lead my organization to further success. 

The Thin Book of Trust

I have been reading and working through a book called The Thin Book of Trust: An Essential Primer for Building Trust at Work over the past couple of weeks. It was suggested by a podcast I listen to and I found myself very interested, thinking it could apply in my work but also that it could help improve my leadership skills if I understood trust and how to earn it a little better.

The book defines trust and breaks it down into 4 Distinctions of Trust in order to facilitate a better understanding and conversations about trust and trust issues. Each of the Distinctions are then defined and explored individually, including suggestion about how to increase your trustworthiness in each of them and facilitate a conversation if someone else is currently compromising your trust in them through their behaviors in those areas. Below are the lessons I took away.

Ultimately, I found the book very insightful and pragmatic. It’s scope is limited to the workplace, but the concepts are easily expanded to the rest of your life with a bit of thought and flexibility. I highly suggest it for anyone hoping to develop their leadership ability from any level of authority.
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