Who do you want to improve your relationship with in 2016?

Joe, Operations Manager/Superintendent, for a general contractor in Salem, OR, told Session 6B of Turbo’s Leadership Development Lab (LDL):

“At Session 2 of the LDL, I picked my wife as both my personal and professional “pearl”—the person I most wanted to improve my relationship with. My wife, Julie’s and my situation/relationship is somewhat unique because my wife is also the Office Manager for the same company I am the Operations Manager/Superintendent for.

“I have been in the construction industry for over 25 years. My wife, however, has only been in the construction industry since we moved to Salem in June 2014. My position and my wife’s position work hand-in-hand every day. Although she does a remarkable job, I have caught myself forgetting that she has only been in the construction industry for a short time. Sometimes when I was discussing a jobsite situation with her and she didn’t understand some of my construction terminology I would get impatient and short with her. Of course this would naturally carry over to our husband/wife relationship at home making for uncomfortable work and personal life dynamics.

“I began to practice Leadership Principle #5, See Their Point of View, to see things from her point of view and be more specific in my communication. When I caught myself using industry slang and short hand I took the time to slow down enough to use laymen language. Now she understands me the first time and doesn’t have to ask follow up questions. This has made for a much more harmonious and relaxed working environment along with a much happier wife. Happy wife equals happy life.

“The result has been more ease at work and more fun at home.

“The lesson I learned from this experience is I need to remember my wife has only been in the construction industry a short time. I need to have more patience and understanding in my communications.

“The action I call you to take is to practice patience and understanding in all your communications both in your professional and personal life. Remember to avoid industry short hand and talk in non-technical terms that the other person easily understands.

“The benefit you will gain is the people you work with and the people in your personal life will be more relaxed and open in their communications with you which creates more harmonious, productive and happy relationships.”

In every field of specialized knowledge there are code words, slang and industry short hand, an industry vocabulary. Using these expressions may speed up communication, make you feel like a cool insider, but you could be having just the opposite effect on the new people on your team.