5 must-have workplace success tips

secr1It’s amazing the little things that can impact workplace success. Even more amazing, perhaps, is how frequently we see people not doing them. Here are five must-have workplace success tips to create positive relationships with internal and external customers, colleagues and bosses:

Pick up the phone – You’ve gone back and forth three times about the same issue via email. The emails are getting a bit snarky. “Is this person just stupid,” you wonder? Meanwhile, the person on the other end is wondering the same thing about you. Try the telephone. This magical little device allows you to have a conversation which inevitably resolves communication challenges in moments.

Warm up your emails – “Here’s the information you wanted,” is all your email says. You think you’re being succinct. The reader sees it as being abrupt, and gets a little irritated at your attitude.  Seriously, for the sake of an extra twelve seconds, how hard would it have been to have write, “Hi John:  I’ve attached that information you were looking for. I hope it helps. Let me know if there’s anything else I can do.” Watching your tone is critical to building positive relationships.

Smile – You don’t smile a lot. You’re just not a smiley kind of person. We get that. But you wonder why people always seem so grumpy around you, and nobody seems to have your back when things get tough. Give smiling a try. It goes a long way, and, well, it’s really not that hard.

Acknowledge the point – Susan says, “I think we should do abc.” You respond with “Yabut, xyz will work better.” Susan feels shot down, and that’s when the argument starts. Before suggesting your idea, try letting Susan know that you respect her. Validate what she says instead by responding with something like, “I like it. Abc could work for sure. Actually, I wonder if xyz might work even better.” The argument now becomes a productive discussion.

Seek to understand – “I’d like you to make these changes to this report,” your boss says. You groan inwardly as he (she) walks away, thinking you just got another make-work project. How about this – why not just ask your boss why the change is being made? Something like, “Absolutely. Why are we changing it, by the way?” When you get the answer, you might just discover that you’re not working for an idiot after all. These are little things for sure – but they are little things that can make a big difference.

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