The latest blog from People Discovery discusses the factors which determine the success or not of relationships. Your ability to build successful relationships could be the key to your own success. Research is beginning to identify relationship building as the key to developing great teams as well as great customers. If you want to have great, relevant and appropriate relationships then you might want to consider each factor identified. If your ideas about each factor match those of the other person, then you are probably on to a winner.We are in relationship with everyone we meet, because we are always swapping energy. Even the guy reading the paper in the adjacent seat on the train might leave an impression as you form an opinion about or sense his energy. Ok, it’s not much of a relationship, but it is important to know we can actually impact everyone we meet at some level.
If we have even a slight impact with a complete stranger think about the impact we have on our nearest and dearest, our work colleagues, teams or customers. Human relationships whether they are romantic, work-based, friendship or family based are successful or not because of a number of common factors.
Forging successful relationships is essential for a successful life. Whether at home or at work, creating successful relationships is being able to identify what needs to be in place, and being able to understand ways your relationships work by heightening your understanding of the relationship through the following filters.
If you are friends with Ted because you like going to the pub every Friday, and he is in there, then that’s the relationship you have. If Ted stops going to the pub on a Friday, then it’s unlikely you will continue with your relationship. Understanding and being honest about the purpose of any relationship can prevent many misunderstandings and conflicts.
A relationship can only be successful if both people want to be in it. If you’ve ever been friends with someone and you’re making all the calls or trying to make arrangements to meet, then you are probably more invested in the relationship than the other person. If a customer simply isn’t interested in your product, or your employee is looking for another job, then you don’t have a reciprocal relationship.
Sometimes we have the best relationships with people who have contrasting energy. Someone who is reserved and quiet may enjoy being in relationship with another who is exuberant and loud. Alternatively such a relationship might be a complete recipe for disaster. I remember being on an interview panel with a candidate who was enthusiastic and proactive. While I admired her energy, the other panel member felt drained by it. If matching energy is experienced, then people may feel extremely comfortable or very bored.
Shared values usually create relationship success. If you are struggling in a relationship, examining each other’s values is a good place to start. If for example you value expensive things and a luxurious lifestyle and someone else values basic and simplistic living, then you will either come to terms with the differences or the relationship will not exist for any length of time. Likewise a caring, sharing colleague might form a close working relationship with a tough hard-headed business type, but more than likely won’t.
Expectations can be centred on your own and/or other’s needs and wants. If you expect your employees to contribute a decent day’s work for a fair wage and that doesn’t happen, then the chances are you have relationship problems. Likewise with personal relationships, problems may well occur if you feel let down or expect something different than that which is on offer
How we communicate can determine the success or not of a relationship. Communication differences can ruin a relationship if there is a lack of understanding about different communication styles. For example conflicts can arise between people who communicate kinaesthetically and those who are auditory. I remember a long drawn out conflict between a manager and one of his team because the language he used was logical and factual and didn’t fit with her needs which were words of caring, feeling and empathy.
Your beliefs, thoughts and conclusions can determine your attitude about people in your personal and work life. If you work for an employer and you believe you don’t count, then your belief is going to colour the relationship with your manager or team. Your attitude will seep out whenever you speak to others about work. Likewise, if someone has let you down badly in your personal life, if you are unable to forgive them, then your relationship will be affected forever by your attitude to them.
Relationships require commitment, even if it’s to give someone your full attention for just a day. If you decide to work for someone and only plan to stay for a few months and they expect you to stay for the long haul, then your commitment to each other is mismatched and will affect your relationship. Most of us enter into marriage as a lifelong commitment. However, when that commitment wanes, the relationship could be in big trouble without a re-examination and re-connection of why you committed in the first place.
Boundaries exist physically, emotionally and mentally. Part of building good relationships is about identifying and respecting your own and other people’s boundaries. Boundaries signify how much you are able to or want to allow someone into your life, or how much of yourself you want to give. Pre-nuptial agreements set clear boundaries. I want to spend my life with you, but if anything goes wrong, I’m not prepared to give you my money. At work, contracts of employment set out the boundaries of the relationship. Trouble can occur when you’ve signed up for 40 hours a week, and the company with a long hours culture actually expects a lot more.
Relationships happen at the right time. If the timing is wrong, then it’s unlikely the relationship will satisfy any or some of the factors listed above. If you meet the man of your dreams and you need to go to college halfway around the world, then the timing may be wrong to get together at that point. Likewise, if your customer doesn’t want to buy quite at that point, or your employees don’t buy into your vision, it may well be that the time is just not quite right. Unless of course there is a permanent mis-match of any of the above and there will never be a right time.
If you are interested in finding out more about emotional intelligence: Instantly download the People Discovery free E-book; The 6 Secrets of Great Emotional Intelligence – For Inspirational Leaders and Managers.
Christina is the owner of People Discovery, an Inspirational Leadership, Management and Engagement consultancy based in the UK. Visit People Discovery to find out more about Leadership Development. Christina’s second published book “Getting to Grips with Stress in the Workplace for Inspirational Leaders and Managers” is also available on her website as a free download