Guest Article: 10 Ways to Get Along Better with Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere

By Guest Writer Arnold Sanow

Arnold Sanow, MBA, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), is a speaker, trainer, coach, and facilitator. He is the author of 7 books to include, “Get Along with Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere” and “Present with Power, Punch, and Pizzazz.” He was recently named by successful meetings magazine as one of the top 5 best “bang for the buck” speakers in the USA.  

Theodore Roosevelt stated, “The most important ingredient in the formula for success both personally and professionally is knowing how to get along and connect with others.” Furthermore, Daniel Goleman stated, “We are judged by a new yardstick; not only just how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also how well we handle ourselves and each other.”

Creating enduring connections with others is a life-long endeavor. Good relationships are vital to our well-being and make a big difference in our effectiveness with customers, co-workers, family, and friends.

No matter how well people get along, even a slight improvement in communication, everyday interactions, and understanding others can significantly enhance teamwork, productivity, customer relationships, and contribute to a positive work environment and culture.

Furthermore, in this challenging environment, everyone is doing more with less, and in this fast pace world, the “niceties” get lost, and working relationships suffer.

Excellent interpersonal skills and building positive connections with both colleagues and customers are the foundation for everything we do. According to a study by Harvard and Stanford University, only 15% of your success in your job concerning building cooperation, getting things done and creating a positive environment will be due to your technical skills and 85% will depend on your communication, emotional intelligence, people skills and your ability to get along.

Here are ten ways to boost your “Get Along IQ” and get everyone singing your praises.

  • It’s not just what is said that is important; it’s what’s not said that derails relationships. Say what’s on your mind. People aren’t mind readers.

  • Before you walk a mile in my shoes, you need to take off yours first. Everyone sees things through different lenses. We all came from diverse backgrounds. Our “rules” are predicated on what we learned from our parents, teachers, coaches, ministers, family, and friends. How is your “rule book,” your should’ s, should not’s and ego getting in the way of getting along with others?

  • Perception is not reality. The fact is my perception is your reality, and your perception is my reality. As humans, we are wired to be biased. Whether it is implicit or unconscious bias, we jump to conclusions, assumptions, and make snap judgments. Take the time to understand and get to know others. Every life has a story if we only bother to look.

  • Understand other first, before having them understand you. If you want to get along, build rapport, relationships, and connect with others, you need to communicate in the ingredients that others find as essential and not just what you perceive as important. The old saying, treat people the way you want to be treated is not valid. The key is to treat people the way they want to be treated.

  • Assume you’re wrong. Before blaming others, take a good look at yourself in the mirror. For example, let’s say a colleague has let you down by not delivering something she promised you by a specific date. Before blaming her, ask yourself, “What is it I don’t want to be responsible or accountable for right now?” Maybe my directions were not clear, or I didn’t check in periodically to make sure there were no problems.

  • Eliminate communication crushers. Here are some of the most common annoying traits, behaviors and communication elements that hinder rapport, relationships, connections and getting along; no appreciation, sarcasm, indifference, unconscious bias, blame, bullying, contempt, harassment, lack of empathy, negativity, apathy, condescending, dominating conversations, demeaning, narcissism, negative body language, hurtful words, and language, demanding personality, not responding to phone calls or e-mail, yelling and backstabbing. 90% of eliminating these crushers is aware you have them.

  • Choose your battles wisely. Surely, there will be times in your life when it is essential to fight for things you believe in. The problem is many people spend their lives fighting over relatively unimportant things that come up daily. This not only causes stress and tension, but it also alienates people around you. Take a look at the big picture. Is it really that important?

  • SOFTEN your image to make yourself more approachable, likable, and trustworthy. People make up their minds about you instantly. To create a positive impression, you need to be aware of the messages your body language is displaying. Follow the SOFTEN formula; Smile, Be Open (arms), Forward Lean/Focus, Territory (distance to be away from someone), Eye Contact, Nodding to show you are paying attention

  • Avoid the misunderstandings that destroy relationships. Assume the next message you send will be misunderstood. One of the keys to reducing misunderstandings is to paraphrase. In other words, after you give directions or receive directions, you might say, “I just want to make sure I understand what you want, you said …….”

  • Watch your language and talk to others in a friendly way. Words can hurt. Look inward before lashing outward, and be sure to taste your words before spitting them out. People get more upset about how you say something (words, language, and tone) then by your viewpoint, attitude, or opinion. Be careful of communication such as; it is what it is; accusing someone; slang and profanity; sarcasm; labels; making threats; and vs. but; talking about sex, politics, and religion; or using words such as whatever or no problem.

Published by Helene R. Johnson

Helene R. Johnson is a pseudonym. Living life as a mom and manager. Articles are also published on, a site dedicated to human resources with a focus on transformational change and development.

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