No matter your business, the most important asset to any organization is its people. If you or your coworkers do not feel valued and respected, your customers will not feel valued either. As the saying goes, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
So here are ten things I’ve learned—many the hard way—that can help make your organization a great place to work!
This may sound simplistic, but a smile is contagious and can brighten one’s day in a moment. As Mother Teresa said, “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”
2. Never begin a sentence with you.
When this happens, people automatically become defensive and completely shut down. Instead, think of ways to rephrase the statement or create a question.
3. Encourage others.
It is easy to have a critical tongue, especially when on a tight deadline at work. But the truth is that we reap what we sow. It is important to continually encourage others as this breeds trust, loyalty, and teamwork. Plus, whatever is celebrated is usually repeated.
4. Focus on others and less on self.
Take a sincere interest in colleagues by knowing what they value. Enjoy small talk, and identify with their dreams.
5. Choose your words wisely.
Words are powerful as they can either build someone up or tear someone down. Take the time to think before you speak.
6. Ask Questions.
People love to talk about themselves. Provide that opportunity by asking questions.
7. Listen more; talk less.
There is a reason we have two ears and one mouth—we should listen twice as much as we speak! It is amazing what we can learn if we simply stop and listen.
8. Watch your tone of voice.
Be aware! If your tone is threatening, harsh, or combative, this will drive people away. Remember the saying: “You can attract more flies with honey than vinegar.”
9. Be intentional with your body language.
Actions speak louder than words. No matter what you “say,” if your body language tells a different story, then your words won’t matter. Make sure your words and body language give the same message.
10. Control your emotions instead of letting them control you.
Choosing to react out of love instead of fear creates a lasting investment in others. Reacting harshly leads to broken trust, reduced productivity, and disengagement. Decide ahead of time how you will react so you can keep your cool and not react in the heat of the moment.
Permission granted to reproduce this article for educational use.
Lyn Watson is director of training and coaching for Strata Leadership. E-mail us to learn about training workshops such as "Energizing & Engaging Employees," "Communication & Listening Skills," "Managing Workplace Stress," "Diversity & Culture," and more.