In order to improve communication with others you need to make sure you are always conveying that you respect them as a person. Sadly, I must say I often see this trait missing especially between employees and managers.
Here is a quick test that will help you know if you always convey that you respect the other person. Give yourself a point for all the ones you do consistently.
- You bring pen and paper to meetings and take notes to show your interest and the importance of what is being said.
- You respond to all phone calls and emails within 24 hours even if it is only to say you will not have an answer until later.
- You sit up with your shoulders back, plant your feet firmly and make eye contact during meetings and discussions.
- With management, you appropriately challenge ideas always looking at what can be done to improve things. You never challenge by saying things are “stupid,” “won’t work,” or by rolling your eyes.
- You realize that bottom line your job is to support upper management in reaching the company’s vision. Therefore, you take it upon yourself to look at what you need from your manager in order to do your job better taking full responsibility for your job.
- You do not interrupt while others are talking.
- During arguments or heated discussions you repeat back what you think the other person said before you say your piece. That way you avoid misunderstandings or reading in to what the other person said.
- Any disagreement you have with a person you take straight to him/her rather than gossip about it behind their back.
- When listening to a person you make eye contact 70% of the time.
- You believe that people are trying to do their best.
9-10 points You really try to make everyone you come in contact with feel valued. You are probably targeted as a leader and someone that people look up to.
7-8 points You will be respectful of those you feel deserve it but sometimes may be seen as not a team player. People may see you as “hot or cold.”
6 or less You probably come off as a person with a “chip on their shoulder.” People are more likely to take what you say negatively because they feel you don’t respect them so they are not going to want to respect you. I recommend that you look at whether you are in the right workplace for you or if you need to find an environment where you can show a greater degree of respect for others. Life is too short not to be happy at work.