There are many things that distract us and get in the way of building successful relationships, which is a shame, because relationships are at the crux of both home life and work life.
Busy lives, limited resources, incessant deadlines, competitive workplaces and financial pressures can all drain our energy and constrict our clear thinking.
It is not uncommon for each of us to become either overloaded, complacent, burnt out – or even experienced all three symptoms of distress at the same time.
The Importance of Relationships
One of the most damaging costs associated with such a pattern is that we take for granted the interactions we have with significant other people in our busy lives. Although we may intellectually understand the importance of seeing the world through another person’s eyes, often clients identify (upon mindful reflection in the consultation room) that they have typically defaulted to responding to others as if on autopilot.
As an encouraging reminder, listed below are some excellent areas to focus upon, when you want to improve the quality and depth of your interactions with significant people in your personal and professional lives.
Become mindful and focused by choosing to describe situations that you perceive differently from the other person without injecting blame or judgement or criticism of them into your conversation. This way, the other person will not feel threatened or need to become defensive – meaning they are much more likely to process your perspective and give you an open response.
Strategies for Building Successful Relationships
Feelings: Explain the feelings that have been generated for you by that particular situation, without expecting/assuming that the other person must feel the same way about the situation as you do.
Focus: Focus on solutions and positive steps that you and the other person can collaborate upon and create together into the future, rather than struggling to make the other person adapt/conform to your own perspective.
Explore: Explore the positive consequences and verbalise the benefits for you and the other people involved in implementing the solutions your open conversation with them has generated. You may also want to articulate the negative consequences in not adopting collaborative solutions, and the risks of staying stuck in an old negative mindset or pattern together.
Encourage: Finally, go out of your way to choose words of affirmation, praise and encouragement for the other person in your communication. This could mean that rather than highlighting a handful of matters that did not go so well with each other, you instead put a joyful highlight under one particular aspect of the relationship that is going well, and build upon this as the focus.
I am passionate about helping people like you with building successful relationships both personally and professionally, so if this is an area you would like to work on, please feel free to make an appointment with me.
Author: Peter Doyle, B Psych (Hons), MAPS, MCCOUNP, MCOP.
Peter is endorsed both as a Counselling Psychologist and Organisational Psychologist and has over 25 years’ experience in clinical, counselling and workplace settings, helping clients with a diverse range of personal, lifestyle and psychological wellbeing issues.
Peter is currently not practicing at M1 Psychology, find his details on his website: Guidelight Psychology.