Get Better | Todd Davis

Summary of: Get Better: 15 Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work
By: Todd Davis


In ‘Get Better: 15 Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work’, author Todd Davis introduces readers to a treasure trove of insightful strategies and solutions to nurture and maintain professional relationships. The book tackles workplace challenges such as misperceptions about ourselves and others, conflict resolution, achieving work-life balance, fostering trust, and the power of effective communication. Learn how embracing a mindful mentality, being open to feedback, and fostering collaborative thinking contribute to overcoming roadblocks and enhancing relationships at work.

Embrace Open-Minded Perspectives

Recognizing our potential to hold onto narrow viewpoints about ourselves, others, and the world is essential for personal and professional growth. It’s important to challenge preconceived notions and remain open to different perspectives, in order to foster better understanding and communication among individuals.

Sometimes we believe we understand a situation entirely, only to discover we have misperceived the truth. Often, we get trapped in our single-minded interpretations that limit our ability to view different perspectives. As a result, we develop standard perceptions about ourselves and those around us, convinced there is only one reality.

Consider a situation in which a coworker complains about another colleague, accusing them of being lazy and responsible for upcoming missed deadlines. Todd Davis, the author, found himself in this exact position when a colleague named Jon approached him with concerns about their coworker, Isabel. Jon admitted to not being a “people person” and wanted Davis to speak to Isabel instead.

Jon’s perspective suggested that he struggled with personal interactions and viewed Isabel as slow and unproductive. However, this wasn’t the only way to see the situation. It’s fundamental to challenge narrow viewpoints about ourselves, others, and the world.

Taking responsibility for one’s beliefs and maintaining an open mind is crucial in avoiding restrictive perspectives. It’s also essential to remain receptive to different viewpoints. Davis reminded Jon that he was a good husband and father, implying that communication might not be as much of an issue for Jon as he thought. By applying himself, Jon could have a productive conversation with Isabel and reassess his self-perception.

Upon reflection, Jon realized that he had labeled Isabel as slow and lazy, without truly understanding her work ethic or talking to her about it. By being open to different perspectives, we can foster better communication and understanding among individuals.

Mastering Emotional Reactions

In challenging situations, our emotions often drive impulsive reactions, leading to negative consequences. When faced with external, uncontrollable factors, it’s crucial to pause and thoughtfully evaluate before responding. Reflecting on our emotions and understanding the situation allows us to construct better solutions. Stay proactive by taking control of your feelings and harness external challenges for your benefit.

Everyone has experienced losing their temper or frustration due to uncontrollable circumstances. This could be the result of an annoying coworker, a rude customer, or unfair treatment in personal relationships. It’s essential to remember that our reactions to these events are indeed within our control.

Todd Davis, a young recruiter, went through a similar situation, feeling undervalued when his colleague negotiated a higher wage. Instead of remaining upset, Davis took a step back and reconsidered the situation. By doing so, he thought of a constructive solution: talking to his boss about a raise.

Pausing and reflecting on unexpected or difficult situations empowers you to control your emotions and move forward constructively. It equips you to develop a nuanced understanding of the factors at play, enabling you to approach the problem with a proactive mindset. So, the next time you find yourself struggling with external circumstances, pause, evaluate, and identify a better response—turning challenges into opportunities.

Building Trust Through Credibility

Trust plays a crucial role in building successful relationships, and one way to establish trust is by proving your credibility. Demonstrating competence and character are key aspects of credibility that help build respect from others. Being consistent in long-term thinking and showcasing adaptability in changing circumstances also contributes to credibility. For example, when faced with new management styles or expectations, embracing change and adapting to the situation exemplifies your credibility. Remember, a balanced approach of competence, character, long-term thinking, and adaptability can lead to stronger relationships and trust among colleagues.

Mastering Life’s Balancing Act

In life, we play numerous roles such as parent, spouse, professional, and friend. To avoid juggling all these roles or focusing on just one, it’s crucial to achieve balance by identifying and prioritizing these roles based on personal values. Create contribution statements for each role, outlining commitments and intentions to allocate time and energy effectively.

In the grand tapestry of life, each of us dons multiple hats – we may be a parent, a sibling, a spouse, or a friend, while also being a teacher, a manager, or a mentor. The secret to playing all these roles effectively lies in our ability to strike the right balance between them.

Imagine Ruben, an executive, a parent, and a husband. Deeply dedicated to his job, he once missed a family portrait due to his pressing professional commitments. This wake-up call made him realize the need for balance, and he vowed never to place work above his loved ones again.

To achieve balance, start by cataloging all the roles you play in both personal and professional facets of life, from “graphic artist” and “tax advisor” to “girlfriend” and “animal-shelter volunteer.” Carefully assess their significance, prioritizing those you’ve chosen based on your values, rather than those you’ve taken up solely for the sake of pleasing others. For someone passionate about acting but attending medical school to fulfill familial expectations, it’s essential to prioritize the true passion.

Next, determine how much time and energy should be devoted to each of these roles by crafting contribution statements. These statements encapsulate your commitments and intentions for every role. For example, as a mother, you might say, “I will provide my children with unconditional love, support, and safety to ensure they feel empowered to reach their goals in life.”

By identifying and prioritizing your roles, and consciously allocating the appropriate time, energy, and commitment to them through contribution statements, you can achieve the balance needed for a wholesome and fulfilling life.

Unleash Hidden Potential

When interacting with others, focus on their potential for growth rather than their current status, as this mindset encourages development and fosters strong relationships. Todd Davis, for instance, was fortunate to have a boss who saw his potential early on in his career. Even though Davis doubted his achievements, his boss recognized his accomplishments as signs of great potential and gave him a confidence boost, motivating him to continue his excellence. Furthermore, it is vital to avoid distractions that appear urgent but achieve no progress towards your goals. Reflect on your personal and professional objectives and establish daily and weekly tasks that strengthen connections with colleagues, friends, and loved ones. By concentrating on the essential, you are less likely to waste time and ensure that necessary obligations are never overlooked.

Embrace Collaboration, Foster Success

Dispel the misconception that success is limited, and adopt a “we” mindset to encourage collaboration with colleagues. By balancing courage and consideration, you can create a win-win situation, fostering personal growth and a productive work environment.

Too often, we assume that there’s a finite amount of success, and when someone else thrives, it detracts from our own achievements. This zero-sum mindset will not serve you well, particularly in your career. A healthier approach involves embracing collaboration and fostering interdependent relationships with your colleagues, both in your private and professional life.

By adopting a “we” mentality, you encourage cooperation over competition. Instead of feeling threatened by a colleague’s strengths, consider how your talents can complement each other. Remember, valuable lessons can be learned through collaboration, and sharing your knowledge with others enriches your own skillset.

Take the example of a workplace presentation: the author prepared the piece only for a colleague to make significant revisions. Initially upset, the author later realized that the alterations improved the presentation and offered valuable learning opportunities. This collaborative experience highlights the need to find a balance between courage and consideration.

Courage enables you to express your opinions with respect, while consideration allows you to listen and give weight to the perspectives of others. When you demonstrate both traits, you create win-win situations that benefit everyone involved. This allows for effective knowledge sharing and learning opportunities, contributing to a supportive and productive working environment.

As you embrace collaboration and focus on the strengths of the collective “we,” you may be surprised at how it enhances both your own success and the success of those around you. By fostering a culture of cooperation, personal and professional growth becomes a shared experience.

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