Tag Archives: workplace relationships

Improving Workplace Relationships. 3 Ways to Enhance Your Listening Skills

From entry-level workers to managers to CEOs, all employees want to be appreciated and respected by the people they work with. Everyone wants to be heard, listened to, and understood. By being a good listener, you’re showing respect to others. So, here are a few tips to polish up your listening skills and help you improve your workplace relationships.

Acknowledge the Speaker. When you’re listening to someone, send them verbal and nonverbal cues to let them know you hear what they’re saying. You can acknowledge them with eye contact and head nods, and respond with an enthusiastic tone. Avoid crossing your arms – this makes it appear that you’re not interested in what they’re talking about or sends the signal that you’re on the offensive.

Fight Distractions. Work is a busy place, and usually, there’s something or someone fighting for your time and attention. But, avoid doing other tasks when someone is talking to you. Ignore people walking by, your e-mail inbox, and the phone so you don’t come across as ignoring the speaker when you’re distracted. Concentrate on the person talking and what they’re saying so you can fully understand what they’re talking about.

Don’t Interrupt. Most people have a habit of interrupting others when they’re talking because everyone wants to be heard and give their input; however, interrupting comes off as disrespectful toward the speaker. No matter how enthusiastic you are to respond, allow the speaker to finish their thought before you speak. Allow them to explain before you chime in to add to their ideas. Then, formulate your thought and respond to them. This will keep you from jumping to the wrong conclusion or coming across as rude.

Listening is a skill we begin learning at a young age, but it’s only mastered with lots of deliberate practice. So, use these listening techniques every day with every one you talk to, including people at work. Over time, you might just see your workplace relationships improve as your conversations take on a more respectful tone and others feel the respect they crave.

Healthy Ways to Blow off Steam at Work (Without Losing Control)

It’s one of those days, or maybe one of those weeks, months, or even years, when everything seems to be going wrong. Economic concerns and reports of job loss bombard the news and your thoughts; your workload literally towers above your head, threatening to topple and crush you under its weight. And to top it all off, your cube-mate makes Dwight Schrute seem the embodiment of normality.

The pressures of work and home can be overwhelming, but before you detonate from built-up stress, use these five tips for healthy ways to blow off steam at work.

Take a break. Release pent-up frustration by taking a break from the task at hand. Find a quiet place to unwind when you feel provoked or annoyed by a boss or co-worker, before you snap under the pressure. If the weather allows, spend a few minutes outside to enjoy the air, or take a short walk to help release tension.

Escape at lunch. Spend time away from the office during your lunch break instead of working through lunch or not even taking your much needed break. Take a drive, wander through a park or a local bookstore, or take a nap so that you can return to work with a renewed focus. Utilizing your lunch will help you feel refreshed and better prepared for the challenges of the day.

Clean your desk. Take time to organize your workspace. This is a productive way to physically alleviate aggravation and expend extra energy. Cleaning the area you work in will help you feel less overwhelmed and will leave you ready to tackle your next task.

Listen to music. Listen to music to take your mind off stressful situations and soothe your emotions when you’re upset. Music releases endorphins in your brain that can help you relax, so if your job or company allows you to use an mp3 player at work, release your frustrations to the beat of a song. But be sure to use headphones so you don’t add to your co-workers stress levels.

Laugh a little. Charlie Chaplin once said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” When you or a co-worker feel overwhelmed or stressed at work, use humor to lighten the mood. Play a team-building exercise or tell a joke or story to a co-worker who is feeling frustrated. Laughter in the workplace promotes creativity and understanding, strengthens relationships, and can be the “best medicine” when you’re feeling stressed.

Office outbursts often have a trickle-down effect that can impact your work relationships, company, and even your career, so before you get irritated at work, practice these tips to blow off steam without losing control.