Strengthening relationships and ourselves through mutual understanding
There’s no perfect way to have discussions with another to strengthen or build a relationship. The willingness to have the discussion at all is a great start. Here are a few thoughts for having a meaningful 1:1 conversation with a colleague, a direct report or your boss. (They can also be useful with those in your personal life.)
It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is.”
1. Set Your Mindset:
First and foremost, consider your mindset before having this conversation. Be curious, open-minded and seek to understand the other person. Also be willing to be vulnerable and share your preferences and thoughts.
2. Share Insights in Advance:
We all have needs in the workplace as well as ways in which we prefer to communicate. Sharing some of these insights about yourself up front allows each person to take into account the other’s style and needs in order to have a productive conversation. If you’re looking for a tool to help build your own self-awareness and that of your team members, try this free, quick Behavioral Assessment to learn more about your leadership style and motivating needs.
3. Reflect on Your Style:
Consider how you prefer to make decisions, process ideas, resolve conflict and interact with others. Without judgement, think about how your style compares with that of the other person.
4. Begin with Ease:
Start with a few positive words expressing your desire to learn more about this person. Set the environment for an easy, pleasant dialogue to explore. You are both there to seek greater understanding, not to judge or compete.
5. Explore Similarities, Differences, and Insights:
Compare preferences with one another. Where are you similar? Consider if these similarities may create a bond and where they may create tension. Where do you have complementary strengths? How might these differences make you better together as you balance one another’s styles?
6. Share Ideas:
In your discussion, share a few ideas on how you might use this better understanding to strengthen your relationship and perhaps to make you a better leader (and human). Some find it useful to create a shortcut phrase to use when certain behaviors appear to prompt both of you to select a more productive path.
7. Keep it Going:
Stay connected and keep talking. This initial conversation is a springboard. Continue learning about one another and yourself. You don’t have to become best buddies. However, you will strengthen the ability to respect others who are different from you, or where conflict occurs because you are quite similar.
We will never truly know all the ways we impact those around us by what we do, what we say and how we say it.
Understanding yourself and others provides opportunities to bring your best self to every encounter.
I wish you well in the never-ending journey to discover more about yourself and all those you interact with.
Do You Want to Learn How to Align Your Team for Amazing Results?
As a leader, you are expected to produce results and to build thriving cultures. Doing so requires not only the right leaders on the team, but having an aligned, cohesive leadership team. Do you know where the opportunities are for your team? Perhaps you have some thoughts, but what if you had real, science-based data rather than the movie running in your head?
In our 90-minute 1:1 Team & Strategy Alignment Session, you will discover insights about yourself, each leader and the team’s collective strengths and caution areas. You will also learn how well positioned your team is to deliver on your organization’s strategic priorities.
You will be astounded by what you learn about yourself, your team and how well they align to their most important goals. AND, you will walk away with ideas you can put into action right away.
Want to learn more? Here’s a brief example. Now imagine a rich conversation about your team and the work you need to do. Still not sure? Take this free, quick Behavioral Assessment to learn more about your leadership style and motivating needs.
Strategic Imperatives: Aligning strategy, leaders and culture to create thriving organizations. Here are a few ways we help strengthen leaders and build leadership team alignment.