Success is impossible without the correct knowledge of creating and maintaining healthy relationships – both professional and personal. A relationship is defined as a connection, association, or involvement between people. That means that you will develop some sort of relationship with every person you come in contact with. How well you develop and nurture that relationship will determine your success in life, business, and love. However, studies show that longer commutes, increased use and availability of technology, and higher work demands have significantly hindered our ability to create and maintain healthy personal and professional relationships.
Because of this, the lack of healthy relationships can be boiled down to two obstacles – busyness and the lack of knowledge on how to authentically build relationships.
Busyness – If you are are like me and wear multiple hats such as business woman, entrepreneur, board chairman, mother, wife, or civic club president, you may find yourself moving from one place to another at a speed that almost defies logic. Our calendars become so hectic that we even have to schedule time to sleep and bathe. Consequently, as we move from business meeting to lunch meetings to community service events – all in an effort to make this world a better place – our personal relationships begin to suffer. Spending true quality time with those whom we cherish moves further and further down our priority list.
Authenticity – Authenticity is a fleeting quality in today’s world, especially in the realm of relationships. As a result of the above-mentioned busyness, we often treat our relationships like we treat our business meetings – quick, efficient, and to the point. It’s rare that we slow down long enough to really notice the person standing in front of us. It is rare that we really truly listen with both our hearts and minds to get to know who a person is before we decide to do business with them, go on a date with them, or allow them to come into our homes. The same is true for family relationships. Sometimes, we take for granted the members of our families and don’t take the time to get to know who they are at a soul level.
What can you do today to overcome busyness and inauthentic relationships in order to create the happy, successful life that you are working so hard to attain?
- Be intentional with your time. When creating your calendar for the week on Sunday night, be intentional about creating time and space for your loved ones. This means uninterrupted time and space. In professional relationships, be intentional about devoting uninterrupted time for business meetings and conversations.
- No more multitasking. Although we as women have a knack for multitasking, it also keeps us from being fully present with the person standing right in front of us or on the other end of the phone. Do one thing at a time and do it well. No more checking emails while on the phone. No more scrolling through Facebook while in a meeting. No more cooking dinner, watching the news, and having a conversation with your daughter all at the same time. Be fully present and intentional when having a conversation. Notice the other person’s voice, facial expressions, and body language. Remember that most of our communication is non-verbal. Unless you are fully present in the moment, you will miss 80% of what’s really being communicated to you. When you are fully present in the moment, you will begin to make a truly authentic and genuine connection with the person right in front of you.
- Say a person’s name when you speak to them. There is something about saying a person’s name while talking to them that immediately draws an authentic connection. When you say “How are you feeling today, Pam?” you set the intention of not only asking about her but also calling her by name to let her know that you are focusing on her – not just conveying a generic nicety.
These are three easy things you can start doing today to create more intimate, authentic, and successful relationships. But you don’t have to start here. Each week, pick 2-3 people in your personal and professional network who you would like to improve your relationship with. What is one thing you can do to truly connect and be authentic with them?
Sherica A. Matthews is an author, life/relationship coach, and speaker who is dedicated to helping women create success in both their personal and professional relationships by breaking through fear, disappointments, and limiting beliefs. You can read more about her at www.LiveLifeBeyondBarriers.com.