3 Communication Tools to Help You Build Better Relationships
My belief is that communication is the best way to create strong relationships.
-Jada Pinkett Smith
I want to share three very powerful communication tools you can start using today in your personal and professional life to help you build better relationships. When used correctly, these tools have the power to redefine the way you interact with the people around you.
The Responsibility Mirror
When you consider your employees – or anyone in your life – do you stop to think how you may have contributed to their current behavior and performance? Many people overlook this important question.
Can you think of anyone who you feel discontent or disappointment towards right now?
If you can, I want you to answer a couple questions:
- What does it look like if you took responsibility for how you are experiencing that person?
- In what ways do you contribute to what is – and is not – working for you?
- If there was one thing you could do that would make an immediate difference, what would it be?
Here’s why the Responsibility Mirror is key: when you blame an external person or circumstance for causing a problem without inquiring more deeply, you’ll find yourself experiencing the same issues again and again.
Blaming others, complaining, or hoping that someday things might change won’t get you what you want. Sure, you can hire new employees or work on external causes, but if you’re not going to the source of the issue – how you contribute to the way people interact with you – you’ll revisit the same problems repeatedly.
The Responsibility Mirror raises you above the “blame game” and gives you your power back by asking you to take 100% responsibility for what is manifesting in all areas of your life.
When you gaze honestly into the Responsibility Mirror, you’ll find yourself in a place where you are finally able to see what needs to be done differently.
If you’re in any type of leadership position, ask yourself how well you know your people – and how well they know you – the real you. Why does this matter? People give the minimum required effort for a “boss” – but they over-perform for an inspiring leader who they can relate to. Click to Tweet!
Someone once told me “Your social capital will get your farther faster than your ability to do the work.” So, how can you build your “social capital”? Try the following tips:
- Get out of the office, off the podium, and start having real conversations with your team!
- Let your people know you’re really interested in them, and let them know that you care about them as real people – not just as office employees.
- Share a bit about yourself with others – make it easy for people to relate to you.
- Paraphrase with intention. This is really a win-win situation for you and the other person. Often, once you paraphrase what someone has already said, they’ll add to it, giving you more information. No worries about getting this wrong – if you misunderstand what was said, the other person has a chance to say more to help you understand them better.
Clarity Glasses is a tool which allows you to see things from a totally fresh perspective – the other person’s! What usually happens when you see things from another perspective? You discover solutions you hadn’t previously thought of.
Here’s what you need to do to start seeing things clearly:
- Assume good intent – most people don’t intend to do wrong.
- Take a step back for a minute.
Consider the person who is challenging you. Ask yourself:
- How they might be viewing the issue?
- What factors might they be unaware of?
- How important is this issue is to them?
- How they would describe how you feel about the issue?
Really take the time to gather all the information you possibly can. Now, what sort of conversation do you visualize yourself having with that person?
Be sure to consider what information you need to give the other person to help them fully understand the problem from your perspective.
Last but definitely not least, how can you show the other person what’s in it for them? What can you use to motivate that person?
As you put these tools into use, you might be quite surprised how well you relate to others – and how they relate to you. Sometimes we think we have nothing in common with someone else, only to later realize we’re actually more similar than we first thought.
Of the three tools I’ve shared above, which do you think will have the greatest impact in your life? Share your comment below to let me know!