Have you ever suffered from the case of “I shouldn’t have said that” or “That’s not what I meant?” It’s tough to say the right thing, at the right time, in the right way. We had Rebecca Barth from She Shares Ministries on the show this week talking about how to communicate for maximum impact. And while we talked about the different ways to communicate, from senior leaders to direct reports, I want to expand more on the topic of communicating with our peers.
Praise your peers. It’s easy to tell your team “nice job” or “way to go!” You get to see your team’s work all day and are more intimately involved in what’s going on. Many of us work at a distance with our peers and it’s not as easy to see their accomplishments. Look for things they do well, and talk them up. If you work with them closely, even better; you have more opportunities to recognize their work.
Really listen. Many of us listen for the chance to speak. Hear your peers and what they are saying. Understand what they bring to the team. Take their ideas, and repeat back what you think you understand them to be saying. Listening makes people feel valued, and they trust you more. Building trust with your peers is important. Peers can easily make or break your reputation.
Shut up. There’s a time to share, and there’s a time to let others shine. In meetings don’t always push to be heard. While it’s important to contribute to the meetings you attend, you don’t need to respond to every question or topic. Give your peers a chance to say what’s on their mind or share their ideas.
Your peer relationships will make a difference in your career. Don’t take them for granted!
Jana Axline is Chief Project Officer at Project Genetics and the author of Becoming You. Through her leadership musings, she inspires audiences to grow as leaders and ultimately achieve who they were created to be. For more information visit Project Genetics.