I am not a relationship expert. However, I do run into relationship issues while I coach business executives.
What I have noticed is that the biggest lament for women in a relationship (marriage, common law) is the lack of expression, appreciation, and priority from the man in her life.
Women find men to be misers in expressing their love and appreciation and give priority to other things (business, sports) compared to the relationship.
Men, on the other hand, are confused. No matter what they do, women can find fault with them.
If men started to take every opportunity to express their love and appreciation and assign priority to their relationship things would get much better.
If women, on the other hand, picked their battles instead of making every battle a big one, things are bound to improve.
It would be good to do a weekly checkpoint of how this is working as follows:
– what worked well last week?
– what could have been done better?
– what are the goals for the coming week?
I believe when an important relationship is rock solid in terms of communication, respect and understanding the rest of the challenges are far easier to handle. When the foundation of an important relationship is shaky, the rest of your life gets impacted!
Today is Valentine’s Day and lots of love messages and roses are going to be exchanged.
One thing I leaned from my parents is the power of unconditional love! For them love was not based on conditions; it was based on acceptance! Their approach was: I love you the way you are, not the way I want you to be!
This approach is very difficult for modern parents. Therein lies the challenge. When you try to change people it can be a lifelong challenge. The fastest way to change people is to change the way you look at them. Dr. Wayne Dyer would say: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change!”
So as we are celebrating Valentine’s Day and sharing roses and loving messages yet the one foundational trait we need to work on is to accept people the way they are. Once you do that you give them the permission to value their uniqueness.
Creating a rapport with others is not only a human need but also crucial for the success of any endeavor, because we exist in an interconnected web of life. When people feel connected with each other, they are more likely to work enthusiastically and cohesively, building on each other’s strengths.
In fact, research indicates that 70% of workplace learning is informal, meaning that when people are talking to each other at work, they are actually learning to do their jobs better.
Friendlier workers are more effective communicators, more productive and trusted. However, our different backgrounds, values, and prejudices often get in the way of building rapport.
So how do we bridge this gap?
Here are 8 ways:
1. Smile your way in – A smile is the easiest way to establish rapport. It instantly lowers defenses on both sides. In short, the other can’t help but smile back. Research shows that when you smile you’re viewed as attractive, reliable, relaxed and sincere. In addition, a study from Neuropsychologia journal reported that seeing a smiling face activates the region in your brain that processes sensory rewards, meaning that when you see a person smiling, you actually feel rewarded.
2. Repeat their Name – Everyone likes the sound of their name. Make it a point to use the name of the person you are talking to. Avoid pronouncing their name incorrectly.
3. Pay complete Attention – Be alert to both verbal and non-verbal cues. Often we are so busy noting the words that we miss the tone or body language. Use all your five senses to glean insight. Ask open-ended questions and encourage people to express themselves freely. This will make them feel valued.
4. Compliment often – We all seek appreciation from our fellow humans. Irrespective of our apparent differences there is always something which can be admired in others.
5. Use the ‘Sandwich technique’ to give critical or unfavorable feedback – Whenever there is a legitimate need to criticize or bring to light something you are not comfortable with, first pay a genuine compliment. Then explain what’s bothering you, with relevant facts. Finally, end with a possible solution. In this way, you do not attack the person, but rather define the problem and encourage resolution.
6. Find Common Ground – People like people who are similar to them. Often finding a common area of interest like sports/hobbies/education or admiring something you like in the other can serve as a good start for conversation and camaraderie.
7. Empathize – Putting yourself in somebody else’s shoes is the best way to grasp their perspective. This understanding can help you to not only create better rapport but also frame the best possible response for a given situation.
8. Be Authentic – When your actions are consistent with your values and principles you inspire trust and admiration in others, even if they do not agree with you. Trust is the fundamental building block of rapport building and it plays a key role in establishing a healthy long-term relationship.
When you have aged parents who are having serious health challenges it can be quite taxing on you as you try to navigate your own responsibilities of parenting, profession, partnership, other.
You sometimes feel you have to pick and choose to cope and sometimes you ask the question why me?
However, when you take this responsibility as a blessing and remember what your parents did for you when you were young, not only does your perspective change but you find great joy and inner peace.
The reality is one day you will be old and the treatment you will get from your children is the treatment you are giving your elderly parents. Children don’t do what they are told, they do what they see.
So, when put to a challenge of looking after your aged parents instead of saying Why me? Say, Why not me?
Attending to a difficult discussion with someone close can lead to either a lot of arguments & stress or objective discussion leading to a mutually beneficial outcome.
Keep your eye on the goal to create the breakthrough.
To achieve the latter, you have to be calm with only one objective in mind which is to create a mutually beneficial outcome.
Having done so, you can then share your feelings and watch with pleasant surprise a breakthrough in your communication.
When you make life just about you, your processing of information, events and interactions all unfold around you. This makes your ego come in the way causing disappointments, setbacks and frustrations.
However, if you make the interactions with others about them instead of you, your focus shifts to making the dialogue revolve around the other person’s needs and paradigms. This approach usually makes you a better communicator and also creates a deeper satisfying discussion.
Next time you interact with someone, remember: It’s not about you, make it about him or her!
If you are involved in negotiations, it is always good to be on top. Do not assume things, as your assumptions can be wrong and misguided. What you don’t know could hurt you. Ignorance of a situation is not bliss. Being on top of things is the best strategy. Find the real problem and make it an opportunity.
• What is really preventing me from meeting my goals?
• Find out why the other party is acting the way they are?
• Problems are only the sharing of one’s paradigm. They usually can be turned into negotiation opportunities. Getting to the bottom of the situation is the best way to resolve it!