Your daily life is composed of personal, professional, and casual relationships, whether you are interacting with family or friends, colleagues or clients, the grocery store clerk or the waitress at your favorite restaurant; you add or subtract value from those people depending on your thoughts, words, and actions.
At Positive Ripples Coaching, we believe that the ability to intentionally create positive ripples in your world includes having healthy relationships with the people in your life. Our coaching and training programs focus on five critical areas of developing these relationships.
To add value to someone, you must first value them as a person. Valuing them means that you see them and their potential and intentionally find ways to be present with them, believe in them, and encourage them. When you value the person you are in relationship with, you aren't looking for what they can do for you or what you can get out of it; instead, you're looking for what you can give. Do you see people as valuable just because they are?
You've heard of the Golden Rule, to treat others as you would like to be treated, but the problem with this rule is that others aren't you. How you want to be treated may not be how someone else wants. Everyone has unique preferences, styles, traits, strengths, and quirks. If you're going to apply the Golden Rule, remember that you don't like it when someone tries to fit you into a mold that wasn't made for you, whether it's how you feel appreciated, accomplish tasks, process information, etc. This makes you feel anxious, frustrated, unappreciated, and unknown, and it does the same for others. How can you individualize your treatment of others?
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another and respond accordingly. Milton Mayeroff said it best, "To care for another person, I must be able to understand him and his world as if I were inside it. Instead of merely looking at him in a detached way from the outside, as if he were a specimen, I must be able to be with him in his world, 'going' into his world in order to sense from "inside" what life is like for him, what is striving to be, and what he requires to 'grow.'" As you strengthen your muscle of empathy, you will then be able to communicate with them in a way that makes them feel accepted and understood. How would you rate your empathy? If you're not sure, ask the people you are closest to at home and at work.
Communication is about transferring information from you to the person you're interacting with, but connection is the ability to identify with the person and relate to them in a way that increases your influence. It's about them, not you. If you can learn to connect with people, whether one-on-one or in a group, familiar faces or strangers, you can strengthen your relationships, improve your sense of community, build teamwork, and increase your influence and effectiveness. Does your communication connect or is it simply noise?
Being dependable is vital to every relationship in your life. A dependable person demonstrates maturity; they take ownership and are accountable for their actions. They can be relied on to be honest and trustworthy; they do what they say and show up when needed. A dependable person is consistent by not letting their emotions or mood dictate their behavior. Are you a dependable person?