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PM101 : How To Enhance Empathy and Build Rapport?

Being a novice in the field of Project management, I am always on the lookout for tips and tricks that help me improve each day, both personally and professionally.

Resource on-boarding and off-boarding are common scenarios for any project. And for a person managing the team, it is critical that the team members don’t feel left out or unenthusiastic. Sharing some practices that I follow, which have helped me in my journey so far in building connections with the team and being more empathetic.

  • While referring to someone, I prefer calling them by their name. Using names early in the conversation is sure to strike a positive impact.
  • Have a firm and confident handshake.
  • Ask questions on a wider scenario instead of specifics; this will allow the conversation to build, rather than having awkward silences.
  • Be on the lookout for signals where the conversation is hinting “pack-up”, be it some verbal cues or body language.
  • Most important, be honest and be your own self. Don’t try too hard, you can’t force someone to share a bond with you.
  • Be inquisitive but also be thinking about other person’s boundaries.
  • Always exhibit welcoming and relaxed body language.
  • Don’t steer the conversations in one direction; talk as well as listen.
  • Maintain good eye contact; don’t stare and don’t look away for a continuous time in conversation.
  • While you listen someone speak, use meaningful nods and sounds to validate your attention.
  • And last but not least, don’t forget to smile! Like the saying goes “Smile is a curve that sets everything straight”!

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