The 3As of RelationshipsJul 13, 2020
Building and maintaining relationships is a cornerstone of work - and life. In business, relationships are absolutely critical to the buying and selling process. For leaders, strong relationships with one's boss, one's coworkers and one's team members are essential to survival. And these relationships need to be cultivated to be sustained. Three mindsets are critical to this process: Attention, Appreciation and Acceptance.
You must be willing to invest your attention to build and maintain healthy relationships. This means being consciously aware of the state of your connections with others and whether they are improving or declining. Pay attention, take time, generate some energy into bonding with the important others around you. Think now about your top ten important relationships. When was the last time you paid some attention to those people, other than in the routine transactions and interactions that you both may take for granted? And what does it mean to pay some attention in each case?
Appreciation is another area of focus. When was the last time you told the people most important to you right now that you are grateful that they are part of your life - or work? What have you done to express your appreciation for all they do to support you as a coworker, boss, team member, family member or friend? One thing I've discovered in life is that no one feels they get enough appreciation. Taking the time to express gratitude is always welcome by the other person. Make it a point to actively appreciate your valued relationships. A simple thank you is nice, but you can do better than that. Be explicit and specific about the reasons.
The idea of acceptance without judgment is difficult for many people. We all have expectations about how life should be, how people should act and what work should be like. And it's easy to be disappointed when those expectations are not met. The trick, I've discovered, is to try to find the right balance of maintaining a high standard, along with a total acceptance of what is. This means accepting the reality of the situation, while striving to improve it. I'm not suggesting this is easy; it takes effort. But the peace of mind that comes from accepting people and situations without judgment is well worth the effort.
I will admit that my ritual of meditation has helped a lot with achieving this level of acceptance. And this has been a daily practice of mine for many years now. My own experience aligns with what the research indicates about the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits of mindfulness and meditation. When people ask me where my patience, equanimity and non-judgment come from, I have to smile and point to this practice. The smile is because these are all learned behaviors for me. In other words, I've made conscious choices to develop these traits -- and you can too.
We live in a time of disconnection and isolation. There are many reasons for it. And it's easy to blame technology, social media and the pandemic, but it's more important than ever to make more of an effort to connect, bond, nurture your important relationships.
If you were to take just five percent more responsibility for the important relationships in your life right now, what would that look like? And what if you took ten percent more?
Attention, Appreciation and Acceptance. Simple to remember and understand. Not so easy to do. But worth it.
Schedule a Discovery Session with Cheryl