Who is this guide for?
This 5-page PDF document is intended for practical people who prefer a straightforward approach to interpersonal skills, rather than hype.
I write from the perspective of a technical person and a human being, describing strategies that I’ve learned and used in my 15+ years of working in the IT industry.
Excerpts from the guide:
Why bother with work relationships?
I sometimes hear people saying “I’m a technical person, I don’t need emotional intelligence”, or making a similar statement.
As a technical person myself, I understand why, because in a broad sense, our main tasks involve dealing with complex technology to solve problems for people who are less technical than us. It is then logical to ask why we should invest our precious time in developing skills that are unrelated to the technology itself.
For me, one important reason is that we tend to interact very frequently with people and depend on each other for information, support and access to various tools and technologies.
With healthy work relationships, the interactions become more enjoyable and efficient.
What are the benefits of stronger work relationships?
I can see various benefits of developing strong work relationships with people inside and outside the company (e.g. clients and customers):
- It feels good to work with people we know. We need social interaction and since we are spending so much time at the office, why not make it enjoyable?
- Having shared goals with others and building something together creates a sense of belonging and meaning, which are powerful human needs.
- They might provide guidance and support when we are in need.
- They will be less critical towards us when we make mistakes and more focused on what needs to be done to fix them.
- It’s easier to negotiate anything with people we have good work relationships with.
- Having strong connections within the company (or even simply being known by others), minimizes the chances of us being let go, when the company goes through difficult times.
- People are not bound to a single company. When we need to change jobs, they can recommend us to other companies or even facilitate new business opportunities for us, if we have built a history of mutual trust and appreciation.
- If we ever start a business and need a team of competent and reliable people, we will be in a better position to negotiate with them than most other companies.
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