For sometime I have been wanting to work on and learn more about how I can improve relationships I have with others whom I work with whether it is at a job, a business, family or friends. I have come to learn that at sometime I will work with everyone I am surrounded by and come in contact with often. I have also learned that I will not always get along with others. However, I have wanted to learn how to handle these type of situations without getting too emotional and learning to let go when necessary.
As a college student of Liberal Studies, I took the Leadership Skills class last semester. One of my requirements was to review a book related to working with others. I chose People Styles at Work: Making Bad Relationships Good and Good Relationships Better By: Robert Bolton and Dorothy Grover Bolton.
Of course, the first chapter discusses why we have people problems. We think, decide, use time and handle emotions differently. Not everyone is exactly the same. With this book though you learn how to change your attitude and learn to work with others in a more positive way. This is the only way that you can achieve success and happiness. You learn how to predict things whether the are turning out to be positive or negative. This is so you are able to handle the situation and continue on with your work.
A little more into the book you learn about what kind of person you are. Not only that you also learn to look in the mirror and see how others view you. This may sound scary at first, but learning from my own experience it is actually very informative. It teaches you on a deep level by placing yourself in another persons shoes.
Further on into the book and one of my favorite sections is The Key to Productive Relationships. I have been taught for the last two years extensively to learn to look at the good in everyone. That has been one of the most difficult things to do until the last six months. Especially in the workplace to have to look at the good in everyone who surrounds you can be very challenging. But I also learned that by learning to look for the good you can build a better and stronger relationship with others which makes the workplace more productive.
I have personally had to do some serious work on learning how to withhold my opinions and personal views of things. This has been hard, but I have learned a very valuable lesson. I have learned that it is better to listen more than it is to talk because I can learn more.
Then there is the four steps to better relationships: Identify, Plan, Implement and Evaluate. You learn how to relate to the other person and help them out. You learn to self discipline yourself with this process.
One chapter I have had to do some serious work on is Chapter 11. I am currently molding myself into being a better listener and helper. I do have to work on being patient with others and being forgiving to a certain extent when it comes to commitments. I am a stickler about being on time and communicating when I am going to be late or cannot make it to an event or appointment. One very important thing I have learned about myself is I have to become more spontaneous. I have often heard from people I work with or have worked with that they like spontaneity. They like for others to be able to start on things and get them done on their own without someone having to supervise them constantly. I know this to be very true and so I have been working on this myself.
Besides working on my own personal flaws I have learned too that I have to be flexible with others. I cannot expect others around me to be perfect or understanding. But it all comes back to me. I have to work on myself and change my ways. I cannot change others. I do have to become much more tolerant and understanding. I have to be willing to be open especially to learning and experiencing new ideas.
Chapter 13 reinforces how you can maintain good relationships. Do Unto Others as you would yourself is the Golden Rule. This has been instilled in me as well as my own children. Respect, Fairness and Honesty are what everyone wants and how they want to be treated.
These are also my biggest sticklers that I do sometimes allow to bother me although I shouldn't.
I am a huge person on respect. I can be hard on others when I feel they are being disrespectful. I feel respect goes to the absolute core of all relationships. Anytime there is a lack of respect the relationship begins to crumble. It is twice as hard to rebuild respect when it has been broken.
Fairness is a challenging one for me. I prefer to place everyone on the table of equality but that seems to be nearly impossible. Anytime something negative happens we are all guilty of focusing on just that, the negative aspects. In fact, we are supposed to look at the good, the positives in order to be fair. For example, I am a single mom with my business team there is only one other single person involved. There have been times a few of the teammates have attempted to schedule things that involve couples working together. Our team is to be based on teamwork. I feel that this is not teamwork that this is a team working within the team excluding a part of the team so in essence it is not team work.
Honesty I know is something we all have issues with. Even a white lie is really just a lie. We tend to do things and try to cover them up just so we don't cause problems or want to be reprimanded. I have had to deal with friends who I work with whom have decided to rather than speak the truth cover their own rumps rather than face getting jumped all over. This is frustrating to me although I can in some respects, understand why they would do things. I am working on where is the boundary line when it comes to honesty? What am I willing to walk away from and what am I willing to stand up for?
This book has been a great tool for me helping to improve my social skills on a personal and professional level. I am always looking to improve myself especially my attitude. I know that what I say and do affects everyone around me such as my family, friends and co workers.
One of my primary goals has been to be a positive, optimistic and motivational person. I want to attract people towards me instead of them running away. You learn how to positively work with others which is a very important issue when it comes to working. But this book has also caused me to stop and look at myself first and foremost before focusing on other people whom I have no control over in order to change. It does cause you to pause your thinking, look at yourself in the mirror to be able to clearly see what has to be worked on for improvement.
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