Misunderstandings happen a lot in any relationship, but especially in business. Sometimes it can be hard to overcome your assumptions, especially when you disagree. However, understanding is what helps businesses to build trust with customers and you to build trust with employees. Here are a few mental exercises that will help you to build understanding in hard situations: 

Think in Third Person Perspective 

When you’re in an argument with someone, trying to see it from an observer’s perspective can help you to be more understanding. Look at the situation objectively, without emotion, and analyze what is happening. This is a good way to keep your reactions appropriate and be understanding to your employees.  

Give People the Benefit of the Doubt 

This means to always assume the best of people. For example, you have an employee that hasn’t responded to an email from you for a while. Your first assumption might be that your employee is being lazy or ignoring your email. However, they might be having computer troubles or trying to finish an important project before a deadline. Feel free to follow up with that employee while giving them the benefit of the doubt. This will increase trust and respect between you and your employees.  

Consider Environmental Factors 

When someone does something that makes you upset, you might be inclined to attribute that to their internal nature. In simpler terms, when someone says something unkind, you’re likely to assume that it’s because they are an unkind person. This is generally incorrect. There are external factors that might lead someone to behave a certain way. If someone says something unkind, they might be having a bad day, be stressed, or running late to something and have had little time to consider the implications of what they said. Keep environmental factors in mind when considering things employees say or do.  

These tips will help you to promote trust and respect in your company and improve your understanding of others.