A wonderful post this week by Leadership Freak made me think long and hard about relationship issues. Here are some of the highlights, along with some of my thoughts.
1. “Think about who you’re becoming and where that person takes you.” Notice the Freak said who you’re becoming, not who you are? He is reminding us that as human beings, we are not static, but are ever developing and growing, even when we don’t take notice of the growth. Like an eight year old child who is forever going to school in “high water” pants, we don’t “feel” the growth, but the evidence is there. We’re always in the process of becoming. The question to ask is where is that new growth taking you?
2. “Savor relationships.” We must always make sure we’re valuing the relationships in which we are valued, and moving away from those that drag us down or keep us from growing. But relationships ignored cannot be nurtured, so we can’t assume that the ones we value the most will stay intact. We must constantly nurture the relationships we want to maintain.
3. “Own offenses.” When you have hurt someone’s feelings, or even inadvertently harmed someone else, we must acknowledge the offense and ask for forgiveness. And do it now.
4. “Forgive others their shortcomings.” Clinging to our own hurt feelings only holds us back from our own growth. It’s not even necessary to tell someone they have been forgiven. The most important thing is that you have moved on from the incident and focused on the future rather than the past. Forgiveness is liberating.
5. “Focus on things within your control.” I had an experience yesterday in which a service provider, who I thought was working on my behalf, was actually working on someone else’s behalf with no explanation of what was going on. After an initial bout of anger and frustration, I soon realized that I could not change what had happened, so I focused on controlling what was within my control. The anger and frustration immediately disappeared.
6. “Address repeated frustrations or they’ll get worse next year.” Remember the adage, “why expect different results when you keep doing the same things?” What do you need to do differently so that those repeated frustrations will go away? Are there people you need to eliminate from your life, or from your workplace? Are there poor performers whose employment needs to be terminated? Repeated frustration is a drain on your energy and productivity, so make needed changes now.
7. “You love to start. What should you stop?” Maybe you need to stop blaming others for your own failures. Maybe you need to begin taking accountability for your own actions. Start the new year resolved to become the best person and leader you can be. Then repeat the process next year!