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3 Principles For Improving Human Relations

Relationships among employees, supervisors, and co-workers can be improved immediately. By following three simple principles in your dealings with others, you can put more quality into your-and your employee’s work life.

Three basic principles that can be followed to enhance relationships among employees, co-workers, and supervisors are: Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and even slower to lose your temper.

Quick to listen.

Since we have two ears and one mouth, it has been said that we should listen at least twice as much as we talk. Unfortunately most of us reverse this and talk more than twice as much as we listen! Listening to another person builds self-esteem because it shows the person that you are genuinely interested in him or her. Listening, however, involves more than just hearing words. If we are to be good listeners we need to use three sets of ears” to really hear the total message being sent to us. We must hear the words as they are spoken, but we must also read (see) the body language or nonverbal communication, and we must feel the emotion of the other person. So good listening involves ears, eyes, and heart. This isn’t easy, but with practice we can become “total listeners.” In addition to the way we listen, there are two other important rules for good listening: stop talking and get rid of distractions. Following these two rules will help us focus our attention on the other person. Many times in conversation, we are so busy thinking of what we’ll say next that we don’t listen to what the other person is saying. As for distractions, it isn’t easy to get rid of the phone, interruptions, paperwork, and so on, but it is a “must” for good listening. Remember, too, that listening skills can be learned. We can become good listeners through proper training and practice. If we’re genuinely interested in people, it will show in our listening habits. We need to work to develop our skills and concentrate more on the other person instead of ourselves. The immediate improvement in relationships with employees and co-workers will be obvious.

Slow to speak.

By concentrating on total listening, we can use pauses in the conversation to frame our thoughts and plan what we’ll say next. This will improve our communications skills because our words will really address the ideas or points brought out by others. When we’re talking, it isn’t unusual to say more than really intended or in some other way create trouble for ourselves and other employees or supervisors. But the more we listen and encourage others to talk, the more we’ll learn and the more opportunities we’ll have to improve human relations by building the self-esteem of others.

Slow to lose your temper.

Saying we should never lose our temper is unrealistic. If we do get angry, the important thing is to focus on behaviors, not individuals-to focus on “what happened” instead of “who did it!” This way we can avoid verbally attacking an employee or co-worker and destroying relationships. By focusing on behaviors, we also improve relationships. Keep in mind that we lose our right to “temper tantrums” when we step into management roles. While it’s not O.K. for an employee to have a temper tantrum or outburst, it can be tolerated. It cannot, however, be tolerated in management ranks.


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