The way employees interact with each other and with their superiors has a large impact on the environment within the workplace. If people feel good about communicating, this will result in more trusting, more engagement and more openness in the workplace. In turn this should lead to more cooperative and productive working relationships.
On the other hand, if people don’t feel open or comfortable enough to communicate, then employees will be more hostile and relationships can be strained due to unhealthy competition. This behaviour can be counterproductive to the company as employees don’t share information in order to work together to reach the same goal.
The challenge is to create an environment where employees do not have unhealthy fear and defensiveness but instead open communication, debate and discussion. It is important to promote open conversations and set up some rules to encourage intelligent conversations:
The need to be right all the time
It is not always about being right, and by wanting this all the time, you prevent other from contributing to the discussion.
Listen to others
Don’t always talk on top of others and push your opinion onto other people. Wait until it is your turn to speak again. Listen properly to understand and take in what others are saying and gain a fresh insight into the situation. By taking it in and really understanding it then you can accept that there are two opinions and you can debate like responsible adults! This will improve your relationships with other employees plus improve the performance of the team working together.
Take time to communicate expectations
If a team is to work together, it is important that they meet all together in the beginning and communicate expectations to avoid later conflict. This meeting is where both parties can express what they need from each other and what they can offer. This sets the pace for a successful working relationship and everyone is on the same page, and if any issues arise, then they feel they can openly discuss it with the team.
Manage expectations by reaching out
If you are going to be working closely with someone, then it is important to reach out and find out how you can work with them in the most productive way. Establish guidelines and get an understanding of their processes so that everything is laid out openly in the beginning.