In today’s workplace, team members can face a variety of challenges during the daily task of getting the job done. Three of the most common include building relationships, managing stress, and inadequate communication.
1. Forming Meaningful, Cooperative Relationships.
A relationship is built by establishing things we have in common with another person and working to develop rapport. When we don’t form meaningful, cooperative relationships, we’re eliminating the building of trust that leads to a culture of honesty, safety, and respect amongst workers. To build better relationships, take a genuine interest in other people’s personal and professional lives. Ask open-ended questions about the other person. Getting people to talk about themselves lets you know more about them so you can establish commonalities, and it also makes you more likable. Make sure your relationship building is intentional, because you have a genuine and authentic interest in your coworker as a person and desire to work well with them.
2. Managing Stress.
With workforce shortages in construction, supply chain issues, and never-ending customer demands, stress management is no easy task. Managing stress on the smallest scale will allow you to think more clearly and be more focused and productive. Stress management techniques vary amongst different people. The best technique to manage stress is sleep. By getting enough quality and quantity of sleep, you give yourself the capability to navigate a variety of daily stressors. Then, upon awakening, do something at the beginning of the day to insulate you from some of the daily stressors that are going to arise. This could include gratitude journaling, doing a workout or some form of exercise, or just getting up with enough time to have a few moments to yourself and enjoy a cup of coffee or spend time with a family member. When a stressful situation does arise during the day, leave the scene. Either take a brief walk to benefit from fresh air and natural daylight, go for a short run while listening to music, or step away and watch a humorous clip on YouTube. Once you can see the situation more calmly and clearly, you can take steps to solve the problem.
3. Communication That is Too Short Or Too Long.
Over the past two and a half years of remote, virtual work many people have become very brief with their communication practices. However, brevity does not work best in every situation and with all individuals. Some coworkers would benefit from a deeper and more granular conversation. There are ways to identify when to use brief communication or when to elaborate. People often show you or demonstrate that they have received your message. If a person genuinely and authentically nods their head after your statement or instruction and then can paraphrase back what you said in their own words, that’s a strong signal that they understand, and brevity works. Signals that they might need more information include when they respond with a confused, perplexed look, often shown by raising an eyebrow or furrowing the forehead. To ensure you deliver communication that is meaningful to each person, simply ask “Did I explain that thoroughly enough?” or “Have I given you everything you need to start working on this?” Notice the use of “I” in those examples, so as not to make the person feel as if they missed something. It is the sender’s responsibility to make sure the receiver gets the message in all communication formats.
By managing these challenges, you can be more productive and more emotionally satisfied in the workplace.
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Eric Herdman is a professional speaker with 28 years of experience speaking in-person and virtually on topics including leadership, communication and productivity. Eric works with a variety of associations and companies in the construction industry.