Cultivating great relationships in your business and in your personal life has a whole host of benefits, not least of which is improved connection and wellbeing. If you’ve done work in the area of improving your relationships, you know what I’m saying!
I have done some serious work on this throughout the years, taking onboard many teachings from a range of places such as positive psychology and spiritual teachers. I have not just read the books but actually implemented the concepts – with success!
You can create a whole new world if you raise the bar on the quality of your relationships.
Today I share my 5 best tips to creating great relationships(you’re welcome:)).
Throw out your conditions
Whether we realise it or not, we all have expectations about others, even moreso when we’re talking about our significant other. We have expectations about how they should behave and what they should say in certain circumstances. We often expect them to be mind readers about these expectations and of how we are feeling. Even in our work relationships, we expect our boss or co-workers to act a certain way.
I’m not going into an analysis of where these expectations come from. All you need to understand is that we all have these expectations and the sooner you identify yours, the better. Or more accurately, the sooner you identify your expectations of others and drop them, the better all of your relationships will be!
What are you expecting that person to do? To say? It’s easiest to identify our expectations when we find ourselves feeling bad about what other people in our lives have/haven’t done.Next time you feel a bit disappointed or upset with someone, ask yourself: “If I was expecting them to do/say/ be something, what was it?”
You can’t expect others to behave as you want them. Funnily enough you can’t control them. Understanding your expectations allows you to make requests of them (their behaviour etc) when you feel it’s necessary and at most other times, to simply drop your expectations. (This probably deserves a full and very long blog post, so stay tuned, I’ll get to that soon!)
Know the power of your words and tone
In this age of soft skills and EQ you’d think this would be obvious. For many of us it is obvious and makes perfect logical sense and yet we don’t practice it! The most impact we can make on others is in the words we choose and the tone at which we speak them. Ever met someone who made you feel amazing and you walked away feeling uplifted? Yes, that’s the power of their words and tone. How are you using yours?
The most underrated ability is that of being a great listener. Learning to really listen and be present with others will catapult all of your relationships to a whole new level! Yes, even that chat you have with the random person you meet on the street. It transforms you and them. In the context of our relationships – be them work or personal – being a good listener should be practised daily. Most people are not good at this. They listen to what you’re saying while also thinking of their response to what you’re saying, they’re thinking of what they want for dinner and playing with their phone.
If you can learn to sit still and focus only on what the person opposite you is saying, you will create unprecedented amounts of trust and connection. Practice, it takes practice, but it’s one thousand times worth it! Trust me, I know because I listen hard.
Know your own boundaries, respect theirs
You know that first point I made about expectations? Here’s where boundaries are important. While we’re trying to get a grip on our expectations of others, they’re having some about us. And their expectations can influence what we do. You need to understand your own boundaries so that you don’t do things that aren’t good for you.
Our personal boundaries are often tied to our values. They are self-preserving and essential. For example: You can’t spend all of your days giving your time to others, there must be a boundary about how much time you will spend with them. Becoming aware of your own boundaries will help you to guide others that you are in relationship with. ie. telling them “no I can’t do that”. Of course in return you respect their boundaries. This makes for much better (less resentful) relationships all round.
Understand yourself better
If you don’t take any of these tips on board, at least try this one. It’s fundamental. You can’t have great relationships with others if you don’t understand yourself and your actions. The more self-aware that you become, the better you can act in all of your relationships. You can start by simply being curious and asking yourself quality questions. Become more aware of your moods, your actions and the thoughts that potentially instigate these reactions in you. It’s not about finding fault to“fix” it all. It’s about becoming an observer. And what happens when you become the observer? You naturally make adjustments in your own time if any small modifcations of behaviour are needed. Know yourself to better engage with others professionally and personally.