When you were a young kid heading off to your first day of Kindergarten, I bet your parents told you that it was important to make friends. And I bet they told you that in order to make friends you would have to be kind and respectful to each kid in the class, no matter who the kid was or where he/she came from. At least I hope that was the message you were given!
At the time, you may have thought that it was just “the right thing to do”, which it is. But you never could have imagined that getting along with people of all different backgrounds could be a skill that would help you advance in your professional career many years down the road. So, I hope you got your practice in through all those years of elementary school!
Companies are looking for employees that possess a versatile skill set. One of those characteristics, believe it or not, is the ability to simply get along with other people. Business is becoming more global and diverse. Therefore, you will be put in positions where you are interacting with people from other cultures and races.
These individuals may speak differently, eat different foods, have differing religious and/or political beliefs, and may even have what you would deem odd customs or traditions. If you are able to form a connection and conduct successful business with these individuals, you will become a valuable asset to your company. AND it’s the right thing to do!
Keep an open mind. It is important to remember that this great big world is filled with all kinds of people who have had all different types of experiences. If your views have been shaped by your experiences, wouldn’t the same apply for them as well? Do not just demand to be understood, try to understand!
Another term for empathy is compassion. As you strive to connect with people and to build strong relationships, it is important to be able to imagine yourself in their shoes. An ability to be aware of how they may be feeling, and to empathize with those emotions, will serve you well.
Curiosity & Enthusiasm
Have you ever been talking to someone only to realize that they are looking all around the room rather than paying attention to what you are saying? I have! And the only conclusion that I can draw from that is that they could care less about the words that are coming out of my mouth. Not a great foundation to build a solid relationship on. Business at its core is still about connection, and people take note when you show interest in them. Be curious. Be enthusiastic. If you sincerely care to learn about someone, you will have an ally for life.
Curiosity & Enthusiasm
You do not have to agree with someone in order to show them respect. It is possible for us to have competing viewpoints while refraining from critical judgement. Nobody likes to feel judged. Bottomline, disrespect has no business in a professional work environment. Move forward with this in mind and you will find success in our global world.
Global fluency is the ability to understand and to form positive relationships with people of different backgrounds, races and cultures. Simply put, the ability to get along with people. Can’t we all just get along!