Connecting to others in the virtual workforce is an art. It begins with having the right mindset. Even before taking step one in building rapport, you need to start with a prepared but blank canvas.
That prepared canvas includes a list of attributes that may be challenging to most of us, especially in the current culture of ‘trust no one’ in the corporate realm. The blank canvas refers to the absence of judgment before getting to know the other person.
To help prepare the canvas, here is a suggested list of 9 atributes of a skilled rapport builder in the anywhere worker world:
- Respect-treating others with consideration and appreciation.
- Openness-being receptive to all ideas.
- Honesty-being straightforward; having no hidden agenda.
- Integrity-demonstrating honesty, fairness; being unbiased.
- Empathy-understanding others and their circumstances; feeling affinity.
- Caring-showing consideration for the well-being of others.
- Confidence-having trust in oneself.
- Congeniality-being sociable, friendly, and pleasant to work with.
- Reciprocity-being willing to share; give and take.
Quite a list! Anyone with all of these attributes would rate extremely high on the emotional intelligence scale. But don’t let that discourage you. Take this approach to build on each of these attributes:
1. Build Understanding. What is the definition of this attribute? What does this attribute look like in the context of your environment? Is there someone whose behavior exemplifies the attribute?
2. Follow Ben’s Approach. Take one attribute and work on it for a week. Then take the next and do the same. Use Ben Franklin’s approach to building good habits.
TIP: Enlist the help of a trusted colleague to give you feedback during your weeks of skill development. Often we are not aware that our intentions and our impact are not aligned. If you don’t have a trusted colleague, hire a coach!
The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.