If you are a social person, you probably say, “Good morning,” and chat briefly with coworkers, and participate fully in lively discussions in meetings. You may have noticed experienced some turnover recently, people coming and going, and you often have to start relationships with new people. It is important for personal and professional success to be able to establish and maintain relationships.
The foundation of relationships, both personal and professional, is trust. Establishing positive relationships requires you to be trusting and trustworthy. Relationships are maintained through trusting and trustworthy actions.
If a person takes the risk of being open, sharing what they think and how they feel, the key to maintaining relationships is your willingness to respond to another person’s risk taking in a way that insures that the other person will experience beneficial consequences. This is accomplished by being accepting, supportive, cooperative, and empathetic.
Expressing acceptance is responding to that person with high regard and mutual respect, whether you agree with them or not.
Expressing supportiveness is being encouraging and emotionally supportive concerning their perspective and observations, and their abilities and capabilities.
Expressing cooperative intentions involves continued discussions about working together and achieving mutual goals. Together, you create a method for moving forward.
Expressing empathy creates warmth and understanding and increases trust in the relationship, even when there are unresolved conflicts. So, to establish and maintain positive relationships, you need to be trusting and trustworthy.
Social skill is the by-product of emotional intelligence. If we are self-aware, self-regulated, motivated, and empathetic, social skill should come naturally. Social skill is the culmination of the other elements of emotional intelligence. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.
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