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Using the Feeling Function: Building Relationships

Using the Feeling Function: Building Relationships

By Donna Dunning

Donna DunningWhen interacting with others it can be a challenge to figure out what they need or expect from your interactions.

In a business setting, people tend to respond and communicate in an objective, impartial manner, focusing on accomplishing tasks. This is usually comfortable for people who prefer to take a Thinking approach to evaluating and deciding. However, many people (often people with a Feeling preference) seek personal, encouraging interactions from others at work.

There are advantages to building personal relationships at work. When people feel listened to and understood they are more willing to trust and cooperate. Less time is wasted dealing with conflicts and more time is used to get work done.

Here are 5 steps for building mutually beneficial relationships.

• Remember everyone around you has his or her take on a situation. They may think differently than you do and have experiences and knowledge that you don’t have. Be interested in getting to know what the people around you have to offer.

• Listen to understand. Too often we are so busy trying to convince others or express our ideas that we forget to listen to what others have to say. We might quickly dismiss what we disagree with, or become defensive when our views are challenged. Hear what the person in front of you has to say. Acknowledge their viewpoint, even if you don’t agree with it.

• After listening, share your views clearly and diplomatically. Offer alternative perspectives respectfully.

• Be willing to have others question and critique your ideas and actions. Practice doing this directly, yet kindly. See this exchange as a way to build understanding and improve your ideas and work.

• Compromise. Win-win solutions usually require negotiation. Although sometimes it is tedious or unrealistic to come to consensus, look for points of agreement. You may need to agree to disagree, but, at the same time, everyone involved needs to know that their views have been heard and considered.

Although it may be easier for some to short cut these steps, remember, that for many, positive relationships are a key part of work satisfaction. If you don’t take these steps, expect to deal with morale issues or ongoing interpersonal conflicts.


For more thoughts on communicating well, read Introduction to Type and Communication.

If you live in the USA, Introduction to Type and Communication is now available on Kindle.

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 16th, 2014 at 10:35 am and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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