“Asking questions is just one way you can communicate your belief in other people’s abilities.” James Kouzes
Have you ever considered the importance of your daily conversations? In the workplace, getting to know your co-workers can be as easy as striking up a conversation over lunch. Getting to know your clients, their needs and goals, is also made possible by listening to the perspectives they share, along with the unique and valuable insights only they can provide.
Bringing Back the A.R.T. of Conversation
As I’ve mentioned before, a great way to measure where you stand with both customers and employees is to ask for feedback. But the way to build that relationship that makes others willing to work with you and trust you with any information they may provide, is through the art of conversation. It doesn’t have to be a lost art – it just takes the following efforts:
- Ask: Problems arise in the workplace due to making assumptions rather than making conversation. If you want to know someone better – pick up the phone or shoot them an email and schedule an appointment.
- Respond: When someone offers to share how they feel, their thoughts or ideas, don’t put them off. Respond in a positive and timely manner. Encourage them to be comfortable with you by showing them your willingness to hear from them.
- Tell: Your story can make a difference. Sharing how you got through a similar situation, what you experienced and learned, can be just the thing that breaks down walls and opens doors for better working relationships.
The art of conversation is basically engaging others in a way that is authentic – even nurturing. By this I mean that when you remain true to who you are, you give others permission to be themselves as well.
Disagreeing can be an important part of a healthy conversation. Often, you’ll learn much more from those who don’t see things exactly the same as you than you will from those who are in total agreement.
The next time you interview a potential employee or client, remember to let the A.R.T. of Conversation work for you for more powerful results in the workplace.