Leading people, building relationships, minimising team conflict and generally surviving in a world of egos, personalities and behaviours can be challenging; to say the least.
However, if we listen for cues, watch for signals and pick up on clues in behaviour we can make the challenge an opportunity to better understand these people better.
Clues: This is the breakthrough for understanding people. People are creatures of habit and will give you regular clues as to what they are doing, feeling & thinking. Look for patterns and inconsistencies - get to know the behaviours of others when they are in a 'good' zone and what might push them to a 'non-productive' zone - you're literally piecing together the human puzzle.
Cues: When people talk, they generally have a break in speech especially if in conversation. Too often we are thinking about what we want to say next rather than listening, hearing the intent and waiting for the cue to add to the discussion. This alone is a great relationship building behaviour.
Signals: I run with a regular group and we work on signals to indicate direction, drink break time, increase pace etc. We can go without talking for over an hour! What signals do you use when working with people? A smile, a thumbs up and other expressions can help others understand how you feel, what you think and want to do. Don't leave it to perception!
I help people cheat with Clues, Cues & Signals using the Strength Deployment Inventory however you can do this yourself by making a practice of becoming more aware of others - especially if you're the leader. They may follow and practise the same.