Social Excellence in the Workplace
Working as a team comes with many benefits, from the sharing of ideas to strong and long-lasting friendships. However, being around the same people each day can also lead to social behaviour slipping into a more brusque or unsympathetic format, which can in turn result in damaged communications, lack of respect and reduced productivity.
Social excellence is the ability to connect with others, truly listen and assimilate what they have to say, and help them to feel empowered, all while being able to adapt to new people, surroundings and circumstances. Here are our tips on using social excellence to drive your business forward.
One of the best-known factors of face-to-face communication is the message that your body gives off. If your mouth is saying yes but your eyes, arms or posture says no, the person you’re talking to will become confused, frustrated or disillusioned. However, it’s not a case of grinning and nodding your head all the way through a conversation either. Instead, show that you’re taking on board what the other is saying, give subtle but clear signs of understanding, and adopt a stance or seated position that is alert yet friendly.
Emotion has its place
Even the biggest corporations are run by people, and people cannot remove their emotions from business entirely. Whilst bad news can lead to upset, good news can be cause for celebration. Whatever the case, you need to be aware of positive and negative influences in the conversation, respond to them appropriately, and follow up if required. Nobody wants to work with a robot.
Listen and retain
Listening is one thing, but actually retaining information is another thing entirely. You can allow words to enter your ears as much as you please, yet all will be in vain if you’re not digesting the messages, their meaning and implications. If you don’t listen to what others have to say, why should they grant you the privilege?
Everyone knows that you should respect your seniors, but that doesn’t mean that those in charge can treat the lower levels however they wish. While showing confidence and dominance can give reason to be respected, coming across as harsh, impatient, rude and even cruel does quite the opposite. Whether a CEO or a caretaker, we’re all human beings and each give our best when treated as such.
It doesn’t always have to be yes
Many think that saying no is entirely negative or defeatist, but in fact it’s often a highly practical and logical response. If someone asks something of you that you simply can’t find time for, or which you believe is entirely unrelated to your role, make it clear. It might be that you discuss other possibilities, find a compromise or still stick with no; either way, the situation will be clearer and your working relationship can actually benefit from openness of dialogue.
It’s not all about you
If you guide a conversation so that it’s primarily about yourself, the person you’re speaking to will feel left out and underappreciated. On top of that, whether your direction is “I’m so amazing” or “woe is me”, it can come across as egotistical, uncaring and self-obsessed. Be aware of the conversation’s flow and balance, ensuring that you involve the other party and ask about their day in a genuine and suitable manner.
Positive mental attitude
If you’re the MD, make your staff feel empowered and give them everything they need to do the best job possible. If you’re an office junior, demonstrate what you’re capable of by using your initiative to support your team leader. Every conversation should end with a positive call to action, every task should result in a minor victory, and each day at work should be productive, enjoyable and worthwhile.
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