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What do you consider the most effective way of communicating?  Like most of my executive coaching clients, you are probably buried by email since it is often our primary method of conveying information.

Building Relationships

Many of my clients have been telling me recently that their colleagues want them to reach out for face-to-face communication more often.  Building relationships is much easier when we go to someone’s office or connect via video call.  Reading body language and facial expressions helps us understand what isn’t being said better than emoticons ever will.

Value of Small Talk

While texting, instant messaging and other forms of communicating via technology are useful, even a phone call can go a long way toward creating a personal connection.  I know it sounds old school, but Facebook can’t take the place of hearing someone’s voice.  The tone of the typical “I’m fine” answer to “How are you?” can tell a lot about whether we need to accept that at face value or ask, “How are you really?”

Impact on Leadership

One thing I often hear when conducting 360 feedback interviews is that people appreciate a leader who cares about them.  They want someone to ask them questions and then really listen to the answers.  They want the kind of relationship that doesn’t exist only in cyberspace.

I encourage you to ask your colleagues how you could be a more effective communicator.  If they want to see more of you, that’s a good thing!

 

When I solicit feedback from my clients’ colleagues, I often hear, “she needs to be more effective at building relationships across the organization.” What does that mean? It may mean that my client hasn’t established credibility in her role. It might mean that she hasn’t delivered on her commitments. It could also mean that she is a completely different person with the CEO than with her peers. In any case, skill in building effective relationships is a core competency for leaders.

Building effective work relationships requires the following:

• Respect – we earn respect by inviting different perspectives and by sharing our expertise in a constructive way

• Trust – we earn trust by following through on deliverables and giving credit to others where it is due

• Consistency – we demonstrate consistency when we value people at all levels

• Communication – we communicate effectively by actively listening before we speak

Think about the people with whom you most enjoy working. What makes those relationships productive? Do you respect and trust one another? Can you disagree in a healthy way? Do you treat people consistently and give credit appropriately? Do you strive to listen and understand before stating your opinion? I encourage you to consider how you can transfer those behaviors to relationships you would like to improve.

To assess or enhance your ability in building effective relationships, contact me at: cheryl@csbryan.com