Relationship management is the ability to build successful relationships with others by inspiring and influencing them, the ability to communicate and build bonds with them and lastly, the ability to help them change and resolve conflict.
According to the Johari window, there are 4 areas that determine our communication with others.
- Open Area or Arena: Determines what I know about myself and others know about me.
- Blind Spot: Determines what others know about me but I don’t know.
- Hidden Area or Facade: Determines what I know about myself but others don’t.
- Unknown Area: Determines what others don’t know about me, but I also don’t know.
|What I know
|What I don’t know
What they know
Open Area or Arena
What they don’t know
Hidden Area or Facade
Thus, by expanding the open area, we will be able to build better relationships and improve our communication and interpersonal skills.
Recognize others' feelings
Our communication can become more effective if we are able to recognize other people’s feelings.
Use your listening skills, observe others’ facial expressions and maybe their body language and don’t forget to use empathy.
Respond appropriately to the good news
One of the most important ways of communicating is being able to respond appropriately, so as to encourage our speaker and build trust.
Let's say, for example, that your friend is so excited to share his good news, and to tell you that he has been promoted and will move to another country.
You can reply in four ways:
Learn of how to deal with conflict
Conflict is a constant part of life, whether at work or in our personal relationships. But the way we handle it can either help us to solve the problem or escalate it.
- Avoid being defensive
Whether you're in a business or personal situation, you can take control of things by keeping calm. If you cannot control your emotions, something that may have started as a simple misunderstanding, may end up as an all-out war.
- Work to see both sides
Try to focus on the situation, so as to understand the others’ point of view and where the problem is coming from and develop solutions that can help them.
- Avoid overgeneralizing
Oftentimes, we tend to believe that if something happens once, it will happen over and over again and any negative event that occurs is part of an unavoidable mistake. These are negative thoughts like "You always do this", or "You never do that". They can keep you from moving forward and can harm your professional and social life.
- Avoid always being right
Respect others’ opinions; you can always benefit from their ideas and perspectives.
- Don't be silent
Silence can be used as a way to manage conflict and move out of drama. However, it cannot solve the underlying problems. By failing to state your point of view, no issue will be dealt with.
- Use empathy
Show that you care about the other person and that their opinion matters. Strive to understand their thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
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