4 Corner Post for Strong Realationships
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou
This being February, it seems befitting that we talk about relationships. Every person has relationships – with God, spouse, family, friends, co-workers, and if no one else, we each have a relationship with ourselves.
Whether those relationships are good and strong, well, that’s another story. In fact, that IS the story. We all need strong, healthy relationships in life. In a world where texting is rapidly replacing conversation amongst members of a whole generation, this is of great concern. When you couple that with the fact that parent-to-parent and parent-to-child relationships are becoming weaker, you see there is a great need for relationship building at every level. I see it every week, too, as I go about my work in the business world. Many workplace issues are not matters of skill or education; they are matters of relationships.
How do you develop better and stronger relationships?
- Commit – Just decide that, no matter what, the relationship comes first. Commit to it. When a disagreement arises, pause. Don’t ask yourself what great argument you can make to get your point across (which is our normal default reaction). Instead, ask yourself what you can do to honor the relationship first and find a resolution based on that. Determine that you will attack the issue and not each other. I guarantee it will change your perspective.
- Care – John Maxwell talks about the Law of Addition – where a leader is either adding value to the people…or they are subtracting from the people. By “adding value”, he means serving. Are you ADDING to your relationships? Are you serving…or expecting to be served? You show me a relationship where each person is serving the other, and I’ll show you a very strong relationship.
- Connect – We like to think that, with all our gadgets, gizmos, and social media, we are “connected”. But the fact is, we are more disconnected than ever. Have you ever sat in a restaurant and watched the modern family eat? You see parents and kids all sitting there texting other people or surfing the net, not realizing that the most important connections in their lives are sitting right there at that table. Sometimes you have to unplug in order to reconnect – to God, to others, and to yourself – to discover who you really are. When was the last time you actually talked to someone – live and in person? If that thought scares you, it’s been way too long!
- Respect – Every once in a while, someone in the news will interview a couple who has been married for many, many years. They ask them for the secret to a happy relationship. But the answer is right there – you can see it. There are two people who are committed to each other, care about each other, connected heart to heart, and finally, they RESPECT each other. Relationships where couples who call each other names and launch personal insults at each other will probably not last long – because there is no real respect. You can get upset at a situation and have differences of opinion, but if you are disrespectful to a person, the relationship is in trouble.
Think about your relationships – all of them. Are your four relationship corner posts in place?