Monday, August 10, 2009

Relationships and Growth

I have heard someone say: “Don’t spend time with anyone unless you or the other person is getting something out of it.” This seemed harsh to me at first but after some thought it made more sense to me. I thought after all, why spend time with anyone in this life if there is nothing to be gained out of it from either side. If there is nothing positive coming from a relationship then we are wasting our own and the other person’s time. We should break away from these relationships as soon as possible because life is short and there are others out there eager to grow with you and ready to give something to move you forward.

The healthiest relationships are based on give and take. They require both people to meet 50/50 both giving continuously to the other. This goes for relationships with spouses, partners, friends and co-workers. Using the workplace as an example, as much as we truly want to help people succeed, bring them along and truly believe in them, there MUST be an equal and opposite desire from them to want to do the same. As teammates and leaders we should all be demanding this reciprocation and respect from our teams each and every day. In personal relationships it is a similar situation, we must take action to bring those we care about along on our journey, they must want to come along as well as bring us along into their own lives. When this reciprocation occurs, mutual growth between two people occurs. Both sides achieve personal fulfillment for being able to be the person they wish to be by having the trust, support, respect and commitment from the other as well as giving it back.

In our work environment, we must tell people when things are done well and when they are not. We must continually demand more to avoid stagnancy. When more is demanded from you, understand that the intention is not a reflection of a power trip or just to benefit the deliverer but rather because you have potential. As individuals we all have potential yet we must understand that when those we trust who want our best challenge us to be better it is up to us to want it as well. The tools and support are there to get better with but ultimately it is up to you and this is when we see a relationship become 50/50. In personal relationships as well, we must be open to communicate what we expect from others and what we expect for ourselves. Continually demand the best because in life we deserve the best and if you are not getting it or giving it then you are wasting your time. Think to yourself if your current relationships are give and take.

Something important to consider as part of growing into great relationships is that a foundation of trust must exist first (see book, Trust Me). This takes spending time with people and communication through personal inventories and experiences. Trusting relationships will foster positive growth if both sides are ready to communicate, sacrifice and support each other to become better. This is very important because whether at work or with a spouse for example there is a common goal to be achieved. If we find ourselves in situations where people do not want to join our journey, bring us along in theirs or want to become better with the tools and support we provide then we must recognize this and stop wasting our time and theirs. If someone does not want to grow then spend time with someone who wants to. If someone close to you does not support you and bring you up then you could be wasting time. This can be considered in all areas of our lives from work, family to friends and something I have been giving lots of thought to as I am about to enter a marriage in one week. I will follow up on this topic with additional insight at a later date. In the mean time, thoughts are welcome by adding your comment to this page.

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