Understanding people is probably one of the most difficult things we encounter each day at work (unless you work alone). We think we understand what someone is asking of us only to find out that we did not.
As a manager this can be an area of frustration. You ask a staff member to do something or tell someone something only to actually hear or watch them say or do something different from what you told them. You wonder… what happened between what I said and what they understood?
In John Maxwell’s book “Make Today Count” he addresses the issue of learning to understand people. He states, “If you desire to improve your understanding of people so that you can build positive relationships, then keep in mind the following truths about people and the actions you can take to bridge the gap often caused by them.”
- People are insecure….give them confidence.
- People want to feel special….sincerely compliment them.
- People desire a better tomorrow….show them hope.
- People need to be understood….listen to them.
- People are selfish….speak to their needs first.
- People get emotionally low….encourage them.
- People want to be associated with success….help them win.
Dr. Maxwell believes that when you understand people and do not take their short-comings personally, and help them to succeed, you lay the groundwork for good relationships.
Very wise words for those of us who are in a managerial position to take heed of. Ultimately, we may feel that it is a lot of work to “understand” those we work with, but once we do the reward will be great. Is it worth the investment? What do you think?