Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sincere Tips for Your Success in the Workplace by Diane Marie Pinkard

We are living in a time where people are very busy! They are hurrying from here to there and there to here, and back again and again. It almost feels like our civilization is going crazy. And if people do not find a way to slow down and get genuinely connected, first with them themselves, then with each other, I sincerely believe we are going to extinct ourselves.

I sincerely believe that “awareness” is the key for our success and our survival. And the best way to become aware is to be present in the moment. We must pay attention to the “now” and become an observer of our own life. We must become aware of the control our egos want to posses in order to control and run our lives. Instead, we must step outside of ourselves and care about the wellbeing of others. Two heads are better than one.

Yes, we are social creatures by nature. We must encourage collaboration so we can learn to work with others. And there is nothing more exciting and rewarding than genuinely relating and connecting with others. The following list of simple tools is a great resource to print out for you to read from time to time, and, also, to share with others. You might like to enlarge the print and post it in a place that all can see.

· Be what you want others to be with you. Or simply put:
Treat others the way you would like to be treated.

· Acknowledge and be aware of what others are communicating with you - verbally and non-verbally. You were given two ears and one mouth. Use them proportionately!

· Pay attention to body language. Learn to read people’s silent messages of communication. More often their actions are speaking louder than their words. I call this, listening with your third ear.

· Good eye contact is of utmost importance for achieving a rich connection for ALL your exchanges! Maintain good eye contact with your customers when they are talking. Meeting their eye will keep your mind from wandering and will validate their confidence that you care.

· Welcome each other’s views. “None of us is as good as all of us.” This quote comes from Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s. It can be very freeing to respect and honor each other’s differences.

· Show respect for one another. The more attention you pay to understanding one another’s nature, the more harmony you will create for yourself and them. And you will discover how much you have in common. You will be able to successfully share ideas and relate to one another.

· Straight-up, honest communication is the key element for building trust in your relationships and for expressing feelings and concerns, and getting things out into the open. For me, I have experienced that speaking out honestly is the hardest lesson I have had to learn. But, having the courage to master this challenge has been the most freeing and empowering step I have ever taken for living a richer life!

· Communicate effectively.
Develop the courage to speak up and speak out. When you speak up, maintain a positive attitude and speak in positive sentences and structure. Nothing paints a better portrait of you, then your gracious ability to speak from an authentic, solid place. You have a right to your opinions if you have an issue. But, if your communication is not working, do not resort to pouting, silence, slamming items down, or sarcasm. Stop, regroup and take a few deep breaths, even acknowledge that you are struggling with your words. Then pull up your boot straps and try again.

· Do not offend others! If you cannot say something nice or pleasant, refrain from saying anything at all. No sarcasm, cynicism, or derogatory remarks! Keep in mind that it’s important to remain respectful of the other person, even if you don’t like their actions. Be patient, interpret, and rephrase thoughts. Read between the lines of what is being said. You can help them by trying to interpret what they mean. A lot of people have a hard time expressing themselves. You can rephrase and repeat what is being said to you, back to those who are speaking. This insures not only that you understand what they are saying, but more importantly, what they mean. And, that you care.

· Know the difference between sympathy and empathy. Sympathy is feeling badly for someone. Empathy includes the quality or process of entering fully, through imagination, into another’s feelings or motives.” In the fullest sense, empathy is putting yourself in someone else’s shoes so that you really understand and feel his pain, fear, or his joys. Practice empathy.

· Listen with heart and caring. Listening is the key. Nothing sooths the heart and warms the soul than being genuinely listened to. The best way to be remembered is not for what you say, but for being a caring listener. Believe me. It works!

· Remember that the goal of effective communication skills should be a mutual understanding and finding a solution that pleases both parties, not “winning” the argument or “being right”. It is a lonely world when you fight to be right. But it is bright and sunny day when all parties get to shine

· Use good diction and volume. Speak clearly and distinctly and loud enough to be heard (but not too loud to overpower those around you). So many are insensitive to how they are relating and affecting others. Step outside of yourself and meta-view these qualities in you. They are so important.

· Use awareness in your workspace. Honor the space of others for noise and distance – not too loud and not too soft. Do not crowd one another (whether standing or sitting) - honor the 18” of personal space. And honor a respectable distance from people working at desks and at work stations.

· Always be thoughtful and courteous of co-workers. See each member of the team to be an important and valuable link in the chain. We are not meant to be “islands” and it unacceptable to isolate individuals for their behaviors, nor their beliefs. Use and practice all of the items addressed in this article and find ways to welcome them, not shun them. See sharing your ideas as a personal effort to relate to theirs.

· Build trust and respect with your teammates. Honest, caring communication is the key. Yes, trust is one of the most difficult characteristics for teammates to develop. And that is because human nature has many idiosyncrasies that confuse and scare people. So many people come from a place of manipulation, poor self-esteem, “hidden agendas,” and “control dramas,” that team members feel insecure and do not know what to think. Let alone how to act.

· If you have an issue with a coworker, discuss your issue in private. Do not exchange any disrespectful words or digs in front of customers or the general public. There is nothing that tears down the value of an individual or the strength of your organization more than exchanging hurtful, derogatory remarks in front of other employees or customers.

· Do not talk negatively about your clients or your coworkers. Have fun with both, but not at anyone’s expense. Be responsible for your behavior and your choices, be accountable for your actions. Nothing poisons the workplace more than a bad seed that is intentionally spreading ill will.

· Keep very accurate, detailed, and complete log sheets
on all work and job update forms – like you are telling a story, and chapter by chapter, it is unfolding and evolving. That way, if you are not there another team member can pick up the paperwork and move forward. And no one is burdened with finding the “missing pieces.” Think of it as, you are writing a story! And if you were to never come back, someone else could pick up your work and move forward without hassle. And, please, take pride in this step. Do not look at it as an annoying burden. You are fulfilling such a vital role for keeping the strong train vigorously running on its tracts, with or without you.

I have had such fun putting this list together. I realize that I could go on and on, but I have reached the length I want this article to be. I hope you enjoy it and decide to print it up as a valuable resource for your workplace. And, I would love to hear from you with anything you would like to add.

Thank you! Diane

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