Thursday June 20, 2013
This is a big topic so I'm choosing to focus on a few ideas that have leverage – that is, when practiced, the personal and professional benefits from just a few minor shifts in attitude and behavior can be extraordinary.
Let's begin with my personal and deeply held belief I've come to hold as an executive coach Extraordinary People, Leadership Training Denver, Executive Coach Denverin Denver that everything we want to do or be in life gets done through communication which takes place in a context of relationships. So developing mastery in understanding, creating, building and maintaining long term, bonded, effective relationships is a vital life skill ... and it is a reliable predictor of personal and professional success and satisfaction for extraordinary people.
One approach to being more effective in all our relationships with others is to use the acronym A.R.C.
Grow in Awareness
Let's define this as simply an enhanced state of noticing. Noticing what's really happening for and with the other people in your life. I've learned from my "noticing experts" Cathy Walker and Dianna Lynn, that just beginning to pay more attention brings breakthroughs in learning and subsequent positive behavioral change.
An oft told story – by me – is that when I first attended the old Mind Dynamics seminar in 1969, I was expressing my critical skills in ways that were driving the important people in my life away from me or at least causing them to withdraw the support I desperately needed.
The days and weeks following that seminar were amazing. I first began to notice the impact my criticism had on the people I loved and on the staff I counted on for producing results in my company. Following the seminar philosophy, I worked to avoid self judgment and just slightly reduce being so critical.
The results from that simple exercise – done as often as I noticed it affecting my relationships with others – were profound. My relationships improved and my little business tripled in revenue in one year.
What's the habit you have which tends to generate relationship problems for you? Begin to notice and then act on that awareness by ...
Taking Personal Responsibility
While conducting my leadership trainings in Denver, I always note that this is not about blame, shame, guilt or regret. This is simply choosing to own the reality that only you are the source of your relationship quality and only you can alter that experience.
One good practice in regard to all your relationships is to just stop using the words "you" and “they” in all their forms whether to others or in conversation with yourself. If you’ve done any parenting training, you’ll recognize this advice as “use I messages.” Pay attention only to the contribution you are or are not making to the relationship and your positive learning will bring you satisfaction you might never have imagined possible.
The simple formula here is that there is no such thing as an effective 50/50 relationship – 50/50 breeds dependence and resentment. Both parties must express a 100/100 % commitment ... and your personal responsibility is to model that 100% commitment first through ...
My “Extraordinary Leadership: Eight Power Principles for Extraordinary Success” report recommends being honest, expressing yourself and operating your life from a partnership or win-win perspective. It seems that great relationships are vivid, not bland. They have some "juice" in them and even include the participants taking some risks – another one of the “Eight Principles.”
I'm a bit of a political and current events "junkie" and what I notice about that arena is communication is often based in personal attacks and hidden agendas instead of powerfully and directly sharing competing points of view. You don't need me to tell you how ineffective it is when politicians indulge in personal cheap shots or are less than honest. You also don’t need to be told how ineffective you are when you practice similar patterns or gossip or share information that is a bit less than fully honest.
Authentic and direct communication with positive intent is like making a deposit to the "Relationship Bank." It will be there, earning interest, when you need to make a withdrawal, when the situation calls for some interpersonal trust and aligned action.
Our "Extraordinary Living Action Steps" are brief and powerful - just read on!
EXTRAORDINARY LIVING ACTION STEPS
- Wake up to the current reality of your relationships --with your Self, your friends, family, colleagues and community.
- What's working?
- What's not working?
- What's next?
- Become more aware!
- Take personal responsibility for creating the nourishing, powerful, effective relationships you want. Being a victim in any relationship is de-powering, depressing and just plain dumb.
- Begin to communicate openly, honestly, fully ... realize that every communication takes you either closer or further away from the relationships that could change your experience of life and work... for the better.