5-Piece Toolkit to Build a Great Working Relationship

By on September 17, 2014 in Current Events, Leadership with 3 Comments

Did you ever notice that some people can say ANYTHING? And not only do they get away with it, they actually get what they want most of the time! What’s the secret?

The 5-Piece Toolkit: Includes 1 BIG Mindset Shift and 4 little Words.

Part 1: The BIG Mindset Shift

Prior to use of the remaining tools in this kit, please calibrate your mindset to “This person truly wants to make me happy.” Do NOT engage other tools without proper mindset calibration as they will not provide optimal results and may cause damage. Rest assured that WITH the proper mindset calibration engaged, the remaining tools are highly effective.

Part 2: FOUR Little Words

The following words are most effective when used in the order provided. However, assuming proper mindset calibration, good results have been achieved even when the order of the words has been modified.

Need: I need…fill in the blank with a specific request or question. Example 1: I need you to tell me how far I can take this project on my own before you want an update from me.

Example 2: I need you to brief me on the details of the “Efficiency project.” What is the background and where are we now?

(Tool accelerator: The quality of the answer you receive is directly related to the quality of the question you ask. If you didn’t receive an answer you can use, try a different question.)

Help: When I understand (Insert reference to what you need)…helps me (provide something they want.)

Example 1: When I understand how far I can go before you want me to update you (what you requested), it helps me to move more quickly without either leaving you in the dark or bugging you all the time. (provide something they want.)

Example 2: When you brief me on the details of the project, (what you requested) it helps me understand how we got to this point and anticipate the questions we may get from other stakeholders. (provide something they want.)

(Tool accelerator: Use the word “help” specifically. Think back to the famous movie line, “Help me, help you.” That’s really what you are going for here. )

Thank you: Thank the other party for providing what you requested. Remember, you may not have gotten what you needed. You did get what you requested. If you didn’t get what you needed, make a different request.

Example 1: Thank you for telling me you only want me to go as far as making initial phone calls before I check back in with you.

Example 2: Thank you for giving me a very detailed briefing on the history and current status of the “Efficiency Project.”

(Tool accelerator: Most effectively used immediately preceding the 4th word below.)

Saved: That saved me (insert specific point of salvation…usually related to time, energy, money or stress.)

Example 1: Thank you (see above) for telling me you only want me to go as far as making initial phone calls before I check back in with you. That saved me from wasting time going down the wrong path.

Example 2: Thank you for giving me a very detailed briefing on the history and current status of the “Efficiency Project.” That saved me a lot of time and frustration trying to dig through all the files myself.

FINAL WARNING: Used without the appropriate mindset calibration, these words can be perceived as manipulative, sarcastic or condescending. With the proper calibration, these words will open a new level of partnership with employees, supervisors, and colleagues. For additional tools and tips to insure that you can maintain the right mindset calibration even in the most challenging relationships, visit consciousleadershipblueprint.com.

© 2016 Martha Austin. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Martha Austin.

About the Author

With more than 24 years as a federal employee, first as an active duty Army officer and later a Foreign Service officer, staff leadership instructor and professional coach, Martha understands what it means to simultaneously feel inspired by the desire to serve and stifled by the “needs of the service.” Martha is on a mission to create public institutions that ignite success, prosperity and joy for EVERYONE they touch – especially those in them.

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