12 Principles of Working with People

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When you take action, always think about the effect it will have on your long-term relationships with people, especially if they find out your true motives.

What happens if the person finds out the true motives for your actions? (And this will happen sooner or later) Will he continue to work with you or not? What will he say to his colleagues, friends, classmates about you? That they should work you with or not?

People work very differently when they see that you have a common future with them, and you build it honestly. At the same time, the basis for building a common future is a sense.

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People want to see the sense in what they do.

There was torture in Nazi concentration camps when prisoners were forced to carry water into a barrel without a bottom. With this torture they broke people very strong in spirit.

It’s important for people to see the sense in what they do. If there is no sense, then sooner or later the work will start to depress.

The problem is that at the universities we are not taught to look for the sense in our activities. Helping someone find the sense in your work together is the foundation of your relationship with them.

However, it is not easy to find the sense, because all people are different.

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People differ in psychotypes. Some come up with high-level concepts, others think at the level of detail. Some need perspective, others need specifics. It is important for some not to offend people, for others it is important to make a decision quickly.

People differ from each other: both in psychotypes and in motivational factors. Moreover, people change over time.

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Yesterday, leaving the university, a person wanted to do something large-scale at the world level. And now 10 years pass, a family, children, a car, a mortgage appear – and it is already not so much important to do something large-scale, but to be able to spend a lot of time with the children.

You will have to take into account the difference in psychotypes and motivational factors both when communicating and when looking for the sense for people.

It can be not easy and unpleasant, but you should always remember that:

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Sometimes this intention is positive only for the person himself, but it is always there. A person always wants to achieve something good. When mom yells at a crying baby in a store, “Stop yelling!”, mom has a positive intention. She wants the child to calm down, stop crying, stop disturbing others.

However, at the same time, the mother chooses such an ineffective way of delivering feedback as screaming. Why? Because:

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They act as they can. If your employee turns on the sabotage mode, this doesn’t mean that he is bad. A person doesn’t agree with something, but he expresses his disagreement like this. Why is that? Because, obviously, he considers this method to be the best. Apparently, his experience confirms this. No need to re-educate him (at least right now):

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Any situation with people at work (even the most difficult one) is not about problems with people, but about work situations. You cannot make an assembly, send a report, develop a prototype. Deal with these situations. People are much more willing to solve work situations than to help you make them guilty.

At the same time, so that people don’t think that you want to make them guilty:

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The problem must be solved when it must be solved. If you come to a person with the words: “Why didn’t you do this yesterday?” He begins to defend himself and names at least five reasons why everything happened this way.

What happened yesterday is in itself neither good nor bad. This has already happened; this is a history. And it cannot be fixed.

However, yesterday’s story may create some kind of problem in the present. And it must be solved. And when it is solved, we can look into the future: how can we make it so that such situations don’t recur again. And here we will look into yesterday in searching for the reasons, but the person won’t feel that he is being blamed – the problem in the present has already been solved.

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When preparing for a conversation, remember that we always justify ourselves a little and tend to blame everything on others.

If we are late for a meeting, then circumstances are always to blame: traffic jams, transport… If someone else is late, we automatically put a stigma on him: he is not a punctual person.

In addition to intention, people’s actions always have circumstances and context that we don’t see. Besides:

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1. They can understand what you want from them in their own way.

2. People may not be able to do this, but at the same time they are conscientiously mistaken that they can. Or they consider that if necessary, they will figure it out.

3. People cannot do it (lack of time or some other resources)

4. People don’t want to do it (they don’t see the sense, they don’t like you personally, etc.)

Don’t start with the last reason – first, make sure the first three aren’t there.

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When preparing for a conversation with a person, don’t make value judgments – most likely, you don’t know the circumstances and context why the person behaved this way.

Look for the facts, prepare arguments that would show that the situation is creating a problem – to you or to another person. Don’t think too much before the conversation. One difficult conversation is better than five bad thoughts.

To confirm a fact, the question “How is this expressed?” sounds silly. “We have 5 employees in a team” is a fact. “Our motivation is falling” is not a fact.

Remember the most important thing working with people:

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And in order to show this, you need to understand what a person generally wants, for what purpose he goes to work. And to show that his current behavior doesn’t lead to this.

Instead of a conclusion: Don’t hope for the best – work with people!

You can hope that the people you work with will somehow figure it out. And if anything happens, they will come and discuss it with you. But hope is not the most sustainable management plan.

Work with people!

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