At its core, FM is about people and communication, says Beth Goodyear
FM is a fantastic profession, but it is challenging with an ever-changing list of priorities that can sometimes feel overwhelming. The skill set required is so diverse and the deadlines so tight; it’s not for the faint-hearted, so you should be proud to say: “I work in FM.” I know I am!
The profession has evolved so much during my 24 years in it but, at its core, FM is about people and communication.
FMs are natural problem-solvers; our minds work overtime considering possible solutions for the best results. We know that communication is more than just talking and listening; it’s a skill that requires emotional intelligence and understanding that emotions influence reactions.
Covid-19 has caused the biggest workplace change in modern times and FMs are right at the frontline, but huge change causes uncertainty and high emotion, and there’ll be some difficult times ahead. Our communication skills are essential.
“The profession has evolved so much but, at its core, FM is about people and communication”
To quote the brilliant US professor and author Brené Brown: “One of the things we do when having difficult conversations is try to make things better, so if someone shares something that’s really difficult, rather than try to
fix it, we could instead try, ‘I don’t know what to say, I’m just so glad you told me’, because rarely can a response make something better. What makes something better is a connection.”
By listening non-judgementally, we can better understand and build a connection. We teach this technique on the Mental Health First Aider course and it’s always a breakthrough moment on the course as most people realise they really need to improve how they listen.
Try to listen to each other without judgement and without trying to fix things. Next time you’re in a conversation, notice what you’re doing to show the other person that you’re really listening and consider how well they are listening to you. Make an effort to improve and see what a difference it makes!
Beth Goodyear is the owner of FMHS Consulting