By Jay Forte, Coach, Author, Educator
Whether in the workplace or at home, our lives are significantly affected by the quality of our relationships. We are in constant contact with people all the time, so why do we struggle most in our relationships?
Here are three things you can do to significantly improve your relationships, both personal and professional.
1. Let people be who they are. We already know that every one of us is unique. The more we insist people look, live and act like we do – or like we think they should – the more hostility and frustration we create in the relationship. Whether it’s in a marriage or in a manager/employee relationship, consider the impact of trying to change someone to become who you want them to be. Put yourself in their shoes. How do you feel when people in your life try to change who you are?
Ask yourself: how can you better understand who the other person is and allow them to be who they are?
2. Ask more than tell. The initial reaction is to get defensive when you tell others what to do. They raise their shield and tune you out. Asking, however, engages, involves and includes people, all critical components of any healthy relationship.
Note the difference in telling vs. asking in each of the following:
Statement: Call the customer back and tell them ….
Question: How do you think you should handle your next call with the customer?
Statement: Get your homework done.
Question: What is the consequence of not turning your homework in complete and on time?
Statement: You should stop talking about politics with your family.
Question: How do you feel after your conversations with your family about politics?
3. Commit to “care-isms.” A “care-ism” is something small that shows you appreciate and value each other. Relationships thrive on feeling valued and important, so consider incorporating care-isms like a quick email, phone call, card, favorite snack or even just making eye contact when they speak to you (i.e. put your phone down). Notice how it feels when others do this for you and build a habit to do more care-isms each day.
Important Questions from a Coach:
- What do others do that make you feel valuable?
- How much intention do you give to your relationships?
- What is one thing you can do today to improve your relationship with one key person at work or in your life?
The best way to improve your relationships is to allow people to be who they are. Ask more than tell. Do things that show them you care. These three simple things can have a profound impact on your personal and professional relationships.
Need help building stronger relationships at work or at home? Consider talking with a coach to help you develop better self-awareness and relationships skills.