Be honest and respectful

by Becky
(Edinburgh, Scotland)

I just read your nine essential people skills article and I completely agree with everything that was said.

My dad once gave me an really good piece of advice. We were running late for an appointment and there was a problem with the car keys being accidentally locked inside the car. My dad said "Attack the problem not the person".

I've never forgotten that advice and it's stood me in good stead many times in both my personal and professional life.

Attacking people, getting annoyed and frustrated with the person and venting your feelings by accusing them take a deep breath and pause. Try to remove yourself from the emotions and look at the problem objectively. Think about how to solve the problem. Just the problem. Don't think about who is responsible, just look at the issue.

Another technique that has always worked well for me in all my previous jobs is to be open with people. Each time I've started a new job I've been very clear. Please don't talk about me behind my back.

I've asked everyone in my team to let me know if there's something that is wrong. If there's a problem and I'm the cause of it I want to know so that I can deal with it. Talking about others round the office only makes things worse. I found this to be a really good way of keeping the lines of communication open and my team respected my openness and honesty.

And whenever I messed up I admitted it and apologised. Then I attacked the problem to sort it out. Although it wasn't always easy to to say "I'm sorry, I was wrong" I found that this was the best way to keep the working atmosphere happy and to gain the respect of my team.

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