Relationships are important, aren’t they? Everyone knows this. Having key relationships is important whether you are a professional rising within the ranks of your organization, or an entrepreneur who is working to grow their business.
Without cultivating lasting relationships, it becomes almost impossible to achieve the success you desire. It’s like trying to build a car all by yourself using nothing but a hammer and a prayer. It just won’t work.
The problem? Building relationships isn’t easy. It takes quite a bit of work to develop the connections you need to move forward. However, there are things you can do to cultivate the relationships you need in order to accomplish your goals.
Here are 5 tips to cultivate relationships:
1. Be a helper
Let’s face it, we’re all self interested, aren’t we? Sure, some are more self interested than others, but it’s a trait we all have nonetheless. The bottom line is that people tend to be focused on themselves and their needs.
So what does this mean for you? It means that the more valuable you are, the more relationships you will have. Not only that, the relationships you build will be deeper than most.
In order to become a person of influence, you have to become a person of value. When you find ways to benefit the people you interact with, they will trust you more than those who do not. This means they will be far more likely to help you when you need it.
The great thing about this is that the things you do don’t have to be deep and profound. Even the little things will count. Do you know someone that could help the person you’re talking to? Is there a piece of advice you can give them that will help them achieve something? What if they just need a word of encouragement? Pay attention and see what people need. Whenever you can, be the one to give it to them.
2. Show genuine interest
If you’re like most people, you’re familiar with the phrase “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” It’s very true. You’ll never be able to form deep relationships with people who don’t believe you care about them.
However, the issue isn’t just being interested in the other person. The issue is showing that you’re interested. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure your conversations are focused on the other person as much as possible. When you show genuine interest in the other person, they will see that you’re someone who actually cares about them.
All you need to do is encourage them to talk as much as possible. Here’s 3 steps you should take in your conversations: ask them a question. When they answer make a short comment about their response. Then, ask another question. Wash, rinse, repeat. You can do this for as long as the conversation continues. When you do this, you will see how much of a difference it makes in your conversations.
3. Keep your promises
Nobody likes people who make promises that they fail to deliver on. When you say you are going to do something, do it. However, this doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. There are going to be times when you’re legitimately unable to do something that you thought you would be able to do. It happens to everyone.
Maybe you expected that you would be able to do something, so you committed to it. Then circumstances beyond your control prevented you from doing it. If this happens, apologize quickly and explain the situation. Take responsibility. If you’re someone who usually does what they say, the other person will be more likely to forgive you.
“A promise made is a debt unpaid.” – Robert W. Service
4. Make people feel important
One of the main needs we have as people is the need to feel important. Everyone wants to feel a sense of significance. We need to know that the things we do actually matter. It’s one of the reasons people become resentful when we feel that people aren’t appreciating us.
That’s why you need to make people feel important as often as you can. It’s pretty easy, really. You can do this by expressing true gratitude when they do something for you. You can give them sincere compliments when you notice their positive attributes. These are some simple things you can start doing today.
5. Don’t be afraid of vulnerability
One of the biggest obstacles that some people have is that they appear to be perfect. You know exactly who I’m talking about. That guy at the networking event who doesn’t seem to have a single flaw. They are so far above us mere mortals that we find it hard to connect with them.
Even though you know these people are just as human as everyone else, but there’s absolutely no outward evidence of it. If you want to build great relationships, don’t be this person. If you want to avoid this, you need to be more vulnerable.
Being vulnerable means letting other people see some of your flaws and weaknesses. Of course, I’m not suggesting that you spill your guts about every single failure and mistake you have ever made. I’m just saying that it’s okay to show that you’re human. You can do this by poking a little fun at yourself. Self deprecating humor goes a long way if you don’t overdo it. Also, if the situation allows, you can tell stories about times when you made mistakes or failed. Again, if you don’t overdo it, you will become more relatable to others.
“We have to nurture our young women and understand the beauty and the strength of being a woman. It’s kind of a catch-22: Strength in women isn’t appreciated, and vulnerability in women isn’t appreciated. It’s like, ‘What the hell do you do?’ What you do is you don’t allow anyone to dictate who you are.” – Jada Pinkett Smith
Relationships are critical to your success. You need strong relationships that benefit both you and the people you’re interacting with. When you have these types of relationships, you can go as far in your career as you want. Do yourself a favor. Start putting these tips into action. You will see how huge of an impact it can have.
How do you cultivate your relationships? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
6 Reasons Why You Should Never Glorify Failure After You’ve Failed
Many people are ashamed of failure. If they so much as smell a whiff of failure, they quit instantly because the public notices it quickly. But you shouldn’t be ashamed of failure. A lot of people have failed. I’ve failed over and over again in my career, business, relationships and more. Yet, I keep trying because failure isn’t the final verdict. (more…)
How to Move Forward When All Seems Lost
A few weeks ago, the relationship of my venture with a long-term client turned rocky. Losing them would mean a huge loss for my business, but it appeared like that’s where we were headed. My mind raced with unpleasant thoughts. Maybe the client had figured out that I couldn’t lead my team well. Maybe I was not good enough to be an entrepreneur. Maybe I was not good enough to do anything.
Why was the world so unfair?! Within moments, my anxiety had shot through the roof and my heart was racing faster than an F1 car engine. But I know I’m not the only one who feels like this.
Why Problems Overwhelm Us
As human beings, we’re good at solving problems, so they shouldn’t stress us out. Yet, they do just that. Why?
Consider some of these situations in life. When a relationship is headed for troubled waters, we wonder whether our partner loves us anymore. Our mind unearths memories of when we got dumped or rejected. We blame ourselves for falling for the wrong people and tell ourselves that we’re not worth receiving love.
How do you think the relationship will steer after that? If we cannot stick to a diet, we think of other times when we gave up. We remember what people said about things that we couldn’t do and ask ourselves, “were they right?” We tell ourselves that we don’t have what it takes to succeed at anything.
Do you think we’ll find the grit to stick to the diet after this? So here we are… thinking we’re not good enough to be entrepreneurs, to be loved, to get promoted, or to achieve our personal goals. Notice a pattern yet? We move in the wrong direction. The destination is to achieve the goal. And unless we stop giving into emotions and start addressing situations, we’ll keep failing to get there.
Negative emotions (and even extremely positive ones) blur our vision. The more we focus on them, the deeper we go into how we feel. We either get angry because things aren’t the way we want them to be, or get paralyzed by the fear of the worst possible outcome. This means we pull away from the one thing we must do to set things right — take action.
“If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there and worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the loss of sleep.” – Dale Carnegie
How to Take Action in the Face of Problems
Most human beings are good at solving problems. Where we get blindsided is at diagnosing the right problem. To diagnose the right problem, we must address the situation instead of emotions. We must see things for what they are, collect facts on what we’re worrying about, and then ask ourselves, “What should I do next?”
In his book “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”, Dale Carnegie wrote: “Neither you nor I nor Einstein nor the Supreme Court of the United States is brilliant enough to reach an intelligent decision on any problem without first getting the facts.”
To address the tricky situation with my client, I took the following three steps:
1. First, I acknowledged the feeling
Solving a problem doesn’t mean ignoring emotions. It’s important to acknowledge how you feel because it reveals the path, but domesticating your emotions is more important. I acknowledged how I felt by saying, “I feel anxious because the client might not want to work with us anymore and this will be a financial loss for us.”
Note how I said “I feel anxious” and not “I’m a loser.” If I had given into negative chatter, I wouldn’t have uncovered the direction to move in (the part after “because”). This is why domesticating emotions is crucial.
2. Next, I prepared for the worst
We often run from our worst fears rather than facing them despite knowing that the worst outcome rarely comes true. The result is that we stay stuck in fear instead of pushing beyond it. And we never discover what we’re really capable of, which sucks.
In my case, the worst meant losing the client. It would hurt but it was the truth. However, we could get more clients. Plus we already had other clients who helped us pay the bills. In other words, I wouldn’t have to live on the street.
The moment I accepted this, a huge weight got lifted off my chest. This prepared me for the third and final step.
“Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.” – Zig Ziglar
3. Lastly, I examined the situation
Examining a situation means setting aside your emotional baggage and focusing on facts. When you trust that you’ll be okay, you become better at diagnosing the real problem. Once I felt lighter, I could see things clearly.
I used the 5 Whys Technique (asking “why” five times) to figure out the real reason for the client’s dissatisfaction. Then I collected data on the issue and on what we had previously delivered.
Finally, I reached out to the CEO of the client and held a detailed and constructive discussion based on my findings. Within four days, the CEO and I were back to the way things were before.
The best way to prepare for tomorrow is to give today your best. I’m not sure whether the issue with the client got resolved for good or whether the client won’t pack up and leave one day. However, I am sure that I’m prepared to handle such cases better today than I was yesterday.
Control your emotions instead of letting them run amok. Accept things for what they are instead of what you want them to be. Be realistic instead of delusional. Address the situation instead of succumbing to emotions.
Don’t preempt what lies ten miles ahead and get paralyzed by fear. Address what lies clearly in front of you and keep moving. One day you’ll be surprised about how close to your destination you are.
How do you move forward when all hope seems to be lost? Share your advice below!
8 Effective Tips to Improve Your Emotional Wellbeing
You know what they say, “Health Is Wealth”. But, more often than not, we only mean it in the context of physical health. There’s no question that being fit is the world’s greatest treasure. Unfortunately, not a lot of us take time out to look after our emotional health and wellbeing.
Let’s not forget – it’s ‘Mind Over Matter’. So, if you are able to take control of your emotions, thoughts, how you feel through the day and how you respond to myriad situations; there’s nothing quite like it. When you become the master of your emotions; health, prosperity, and basically all good things are bound to follow you.
With that said, here are 8 surefire ways that will improve your emotional wellbeing:
1. Practice Mindfulness
Half the time, we don’t even know what we’re thinking or how we’re feeling. That’s because we let our minds operate on autopilot. It’s time to take control of your mind. Be aware of what and how you feel throughout the day. The upside to this practice is that you can detect negative emotions right on the onset and quickly change them and their corresponding feeling.
Feelings of anger, jealousy, hatred; they are not good for the mind, soul, or the body. Paying close attention to the spectrum of emotions you experience throughout the day, will help you detect the negative ones and kick them away before they fester deep enough to take away your happiness and emotional health.
2. Stay Physically Active
As you engage in physical activities, your brain produces a whole bunch of feel-good hormones such as endorphins and dopamine. These hormones are what causes the ‘elated’ or ‘euphoric’ feeling. Being physically active uplifts your mood and your outlook towards life. It readies you to take the challenges more head-on instead of becoming overwhelmed by the littlest of inconvenience.
You are better able to analyze tough situations and take a more proactive rather than a reactive approach. It’s no question physical health is in direct proportion with emotional health. A healthy mind resides in a healthy body and vice versa.
“Caring for the mind is as important and crucial as caring for the body. In fact, one cannot be healthy without the other.” – Sid Garza-Hillman
3. Get Sufficient Sleep
Ever noticed how you feel depressed and cranky, and just out of focus the day you fail to get a good night’s sleep? Well, if you fail to get sufficient sleep for a couple of days, you are bound to feel more depressed, cranky and eventually more prone to a host of negative emotions. Research shows that sleep deprivation sends amygdala – our brain’s emotional response center into overdrive.
Amygdala controls our immediate emotional responses. When it becomes overactive, we become more reactive rather than active. We become more irritable, angry and anxious. A good night’s sleep is vital to improving your emotional wellbeing.
4. Develop a New Hobby
Learn to swim. Try arts and crafts. How about painting? Swimming is a ‘happy’ activity. You get to make new friends and stay fit. Arts and crafts, as we all know, tends to have a relaxing effect on the mind and the nerves.
Just the process of creating something from scratch makes you confident and gets those creative juices flowing. Similarly, painting helps you express yourself. All these factors together create a ‘happy you’. The one who likes to engage in new things instead of resisting change or difficult situations.
5. Eat Healthy
Ever heard of the phrase, “You are what you eat”? Well, it’s true to the last syllable. When you eat foods rich in salt, sodium, fat – you are bound to feel lethargic. It takes longer for the body to digest such foods. That means the body is forced to deprive organs of blood and use it for the digestion purpose.
Result? You become lazy, moody, not ready to take any responsibility which leads to feeling cranky and irritable. On the other hand, eating fibrous vegetables, fruits, salads, and complex sugars keeps you upbeat and healthy.
6. Laugh Your Heart Out
Laughter is the best medicine. That is why they have a dedicated ‘laughter session’ in yoga studios. You don’t even have to mean it. The simple act of spreading your cheeks and pretending to laugh sends a signal to your body that you are happy.
And what happens when you are happy? Your brain releases happy hormones like dopamine, serotonin and what not. In fact, many studies have gone so far as to stipulate that laughter alone is capable of treating all kinds of physical ailments. Why should emotional ailments be any different?
7. Try Relaxation Techniques
‘’Visualization technique’’ where you imagine yourself in a happy place is a surefire way to calm your nerves if you find yourself distressed. You may also try praying to elate yourself. Praying is good for the mind and the soul.
Controlled breathing or ‘biofeedback technique’ are some other relaxation techniques that can tame how you feel and even your bodily functions. Try surrounding yourself with aromatherapy or scented candles because the smell is a big factor in governing how we feel.
“Positive emotional energy is the key to health, happiness and wellbeing. The more positive you are, the better your life will be in every area.” – Brian Tracy
8. Count Your Blessings
We all have so much to be thankful for. It could be a friend who stands by you or a happy family. Good health. Financial freedom. Make a list of all the things that you feel grateful for in your life. If it’s a person, be sure to communicate your feelings and express your gratitude.
You will feel so much happier. Happiness is the diet of a healthy mind and an intelligent emotional response mechanism. You could also try writing a poem or simply expressing your gratitude through the power of prayers.
There are so many ways to become emotionally intelligent and not one of them requires any investment or special skills. Practically anyone and everyone can do it. All you need is the will and the desire.
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