Interaction: a mutual or reciprocal action. A two-way intentional effect is essential in the concept of interaction, as opposed to a one-way causal effect.
Learning to create relationship-building interactions with direct reports,colleagues, customers or stakeholders as opposed to relationship-eroding transactions, is one of the most valuable and profitable business habits you can develop. If you can regularly turn human encounters into high value interactions , you will see your relationships grow and prosper. Creating these high value interactions takes practice.
First let’s look at some key factors concerning interactions:
Every time you interact with a colleague, direct report or customer/stakeholder- one of three things can possibly happen:
1. Your relationship improves
2. Your relationship stays the same
3. Your relationship becomes weaker
Now let’s look at the difference between transactions and productive interactions.
Transactions: Interactions that weaken or potentially damage your relationship or, at best, have no effect on your relationship.
Healthy Interactions: strengthen your relationship. Builds trust and commitment
Think about a recent exchange you had with a direct report or colleague. What effect did that exchange have on your relationship with that person? Did it strengthen and advance the relationship?
I have found that there are five elements of a high value interaction.
1. High Level Presence: Showing up focused as a listener first
2. Engagement: Finding mutual interests and alignments
3. Dialog vs. Monologue: Two-way conversations
4. Win/Win: Focus on dual benefits for outcomes
5. Bridges: Opportunities to open the dialog again
Strong relationships are built one healthy interaction at a time. Create a goal for your next interaction with a direct report, colleague or stakeholder — your goal is to create a productive healthy interactions that advances your relationship.
What transforms transactions into an healthy interactions, saving it from the fate of becoming a less productive?
Give the 5 elements outlined above a try and they will help you plan and implement a healthy and productive interaction.