The most important lessons in life are rarely learned in the classroom, but in real-world, interactions with people. Some of my biggest insights and moments of revelation have come through my everyday interactions with clients and colleagues.
Maybe it was a compliment from a co-worker, or something a close friend said about you that made you realize—we really need each-other, and how we relate matters. And if we have the patience to build good relational skills, we will succeed in every endeavor.
So, what is the secret to enjoying more rewarding relationships and being more successful. Here are four recommendations that will equip you to be a relational specialist.
If you’ve met a truly empathic person, it’s likely you remember it well. Empathetic people make us feel fantastic! They are great listeners, give frequent feedback to let us that they are engaged, and they don’t rush to conclusions or provide solutions when you voice a problem.
These are the therapists, teachers, coaches, colleagues and even spouses in our lives who seek to support us emotionally. We need to occasionally thank these people for their constant attention and encouragement in our life. Surround yourself with more of them. Learn from them. Be like them.
We live in such a news-saturated, information-heavy world where it often feels like we are being over-run by people talking. We can all benefit from talking less. Wisdom comes from restraint. People who talk less often have the most valuable insights to share, because they’ve taken the appropriate time to observe. Not always feeling an obligation to voice what you think is an important impulse to overcome. By talking less and listening more, you can have more wisdom to share than ever before.
In all my years of coaching, nothing positive has ever come from a stream of negative self-talk in our mind. I try to start every day with a fresh page and leave yesterday’s concerns where they lie. This helps me attack the day with the best potential for success. If I am believing a false narrative about myself, my clients will experience the shortcomings of a distracted “not fully present” coach.
To be fully present, we must not let accusatory, doubtful, and conflict-ridden thoughts have a place at the table in our lives. While we aren’t perfect people and even coaches have a bad day, dwelling on these thoughts only leads to destruction. Don’t fall into the negative self-talk trap!
Ask for help
Children are the best at asking for help because they realize they need it. All of us need to be a bit more like kids and ask for help. We need to feel comfortable in not having all the answers, seeking out experts and allowing them to help us shake out problems that are too big to tackle solo. There is wisdom in many counselors, and we need to avoid isolation at all costs so we avoid chaos. Let's help our teams and organizations work better together, by being a leader who is not to prideful to say; “I don’t know, or let me get back to you on that!”
You’ve heard the saying “No man is an island” and it’s absolutely true. Learn it, live by it, and your leadership will be enriched!
To your excellence in building rewarding relationships,