A formula for interpersonal excellence

Business Partners Shouting | Axiom Communications

How three A’s can add up to delivering remarkable results

As a professional communicator, working in all sorts of industries, all around the world, I’m often asked what successful organisations have in common. And I reply the one thing they all have in common is people. And of course people are also the one thing that all unsuccessful organisations have in common too!

The ability to build effective relationships with people, whoever they are and however they impact your life, is therefore a tremendous skill to develop. If only there was a simple formula for interpersonal excellence. Well I think there is; and it involves ‘getting’ three straight A’s. The good news is that making the grade is something we can all master.

The first ‘A’ – Awareness

Ever wondered how is it that you appear to be able to get on brilliantly with some people and yet don’t seem to be able to connect with others? Often, the answer is that they are just not like you.

So the first ‘A’ you need is awareness, self-awareness. You need to understand yourself. What makes you tick? When are you at your most successful? When are you at your least powerful as a person? How do you like to communicate? What motivates you? What drives you crazy?

Understanding your strengths and allowable weaknesses is foundational to being able to build interpersonal excellence. But it is only the first step. The world is full of people who aren’t like you, so it’s time to get another A…

The second ‘A’ – Acuity

The next ‘A’ to master is Acuity. The dictionary defines acuity as the ability to hear, see, or think accurately and clearly. I want you to apply that ability to ‘reading’ other people.

What makes them tick? How do they like to communicate? What motivates them?  What drives them crazy, keeping in mind that could be you? For example, your passionate desire to share every element of your detailed project plan could drive another person, who only wants the headlines, to distraction.

The result? No one’s needs are truly met and the relationship suffers. That’s hardly a recipe for interpersonal excellence, so now we turn to the third ‘A’ you need to get…

The third ‘A’ – Agility

Phrases such ‘Treat others as you would wish to be treated’ are familiar to us all. They might be familiar, but I think they are also deeply flawed. This approach would work if everyone was like you – but they aren’t. ‘Others’ aren’t like you – and they want to be treated the way they want to be treated.

So, the final ‘A’ to master is therefore the Agility to move from your preferred ways of working to meet the needs of the person you want to build a great relationship with.

In business, this approach is often called the platinum partnering principle.

I’ve been helping clients get straight A’s for years now, through diagnostics tools, workshops and coaching. It really has been a formula for success. The results have been remarkable and show up wherever interpersonal excellence can have an impact; better leadership, greater levels of engagement, improved teamwork, more effective negotiation skills and enhanced sales, to name but a few.

Perhaps it is time for you to adopt a formula for success, develop your skills, make the grade and deliver some remarkable results with the people in your life?

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