5 Principles for Getting Along with Others

For leaders to be effective, they must work well with all types of people; it is essential to managing a successful team.

To improve your relationship skills, here are 5 important principles for getting along with others.

1. Take care of yourself.

The digital revolution has many leaders feeling depleted and out of sorts with work-life balance. However, having good relationships requires good energy. To have good energy you need to take care of yourself. Stressed out, overworked leaders rarely have good relationships at work or at home. You must do things to reduce stress like: get proper sleep, exercise, eat well, drink water, etc.

Everybody has integrity except when under stress.

2. Be relationship focused.

Many leaders find themselves in relationship conflicts because they are too results focused. Focusing too much on results makes it difficult to have good long-term relationships. Resist the temptation of approaching team members in a transactional way; instead, take a relationship first approach. Sure, you have to get work done through people, but make sure you don’t go through people to get the work done.

Sure, you have to get work done through people, but make sure you don’t go through people to get the work done.

3. Manage expectations.

If you have ever found yourself in conflict, it usually is a result of someone’s expectations not being met. Do your best to be clear about expectations up front and be willing to renegotiate them as the relationship moves forward. If we don’t communicate expectations and are not clear about expectations, the other party is left to guess and assume. Needless to say, this is where relationship trouble starts.

Expectations are resentments waiting to happen.
— Anne Lamott

4. Don’t say everything you think.

We have all been guilty from time to time of speaking before thinking about how what we say might impact others. Most people are already beating themselves up with their own negative self-talk so there is no need for you to pile it on. To have successful relationships do your best to communicate things that will move the relationship forward.

Just because you have a thought does not mean it should be shared.

5. Listen more than you talk.

Listening is the one quality all great leaders possess. Active listening is one of the best ways to build strong relationships and get along with others. Leaders that develop active listening skills are able to build long-lasting relationships whether it be with employees, coworkers, clients or vendors. Try this challenge: Refrain from interrupting or thinking of what you are going to say while others are talking.

You have two ears and one mouth; use them accordingly.

Please add to the conversation—comment below or on Twitter at @gregbellspeaks.