There’s a common line in the movies and TV that goes something like “we can do this easy way, or we can do it the hard way.” The line is usually associated with a hardnosed cop and a criminal of some sort. It’s unfortunate that the quote has come to be associated that way because when you work in a field that requires collaboration, it really is true. Collaboration has so many benefits to your business and the work that you do.
Every day we cross paths with people we collaborate with. These are people with which we share a common goal. Perhaps it’s something important like getting a big proposal done or something simple like setting up a meeting. Either way, it’s something that helps us get a job done, and it requires cooperation. When these collaborative situations arise are you a good collaboration or do the people you cross paths with dread working with you.
There is one sure fire way to ensure that you are the person that others look forward to working with—being kind. It sounds simple enough, but sometimes it’s not always easy to put into practice. We’re tired, we’re stressed, and we have a lot of other things to do. The email or phone call that needs our attention may have come in at a bad time. Regardless, you should stop, take a deep breath and remember that there is always time for kindness.
What does it mean to show kindness to your collaborators? The short answer is that it means applying the Golden Rule; treat them the way you would like to be treated. To be a bit more specific, here are five ways you can put kindness into practice.
- Keep the team in mind: Remember, it’s not all about you. It’s about getting the job done and helping everyone be successful.
- Give your full attention: When you are collaborating it is critical that you focus on your partners and listen effectively. This is the only way you can be sure that you are working toward your common objectives.
- Be considerate: It sounds like a no-brainer but we often plow ahead without regard to what others may have on their plates. Be respectful of your collaborators time and put yourself in his or her place.
- Be tactful and diplomatic: Sometimes it's best to step back and try someone else’s approach before you push your point of view. If you need to make a correction, be sure to keep the other person’s feelings in mind.
- Be appreciative: A simple thank you can go a long way toward helping strengthen a relationship. A thank you note, or congratulations on a job well done may just make someone’s day.
Showing a bit of kindness can help you create an environment where you get things done the easy way. And isn’t that much better than having to do it the hard way?
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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.
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