Repeat after me: “The glass is half full.”
Don’t fall into the trap of assuming everyone has some ulterior motive for everything they do that is inimical to you and your goals. Be positive and start with the assumption that everyone is operating with good intentions.
If you assume otherwise, if you constantly think the “glass is half empty,” you will be perceived as not trusting anyone. That establishes an internal (and often external) reputation as a skeptic — someone who doesn’t trust anyone else.
And that leads to: “If he doesn’t trust me, why should I trust him.”
But if you work from the assumption that all people are working from a point of good intentions – that they mean well – then you release yourself to think the best of people, and expect the best from them in return. In a sense, you manifest what you think about others. So, think positive thoughts about them, always starting from the assumption they have good intentions – that is, until you have firmly grounded reasons not to.
What You Can Do: Examine your approach to people. Do you think well of them until they demonstrate otherwise, or do you automatically assume they are opposed to you? If the latter, consider a change of attitude. Most people want to behave appropriately and do want positive relationships, and ultimately want what is best for all, including the organization.
Assume they mean well. Most do. And they can tell when you think they mean well, and they’ll think the same of you. And thus starts a positive potentially productive relationship – and the anchor for your people skills.