5 Tips for Improving Relationships at Work and at Home

RelationshipsEffective relationships at work and at home are the key to a happy and fulfilling career and life. However, this seems to be one of the biggest challenges for many people. I listen to many of my clients talk about the issues they experience regularly in dealing with people at work and family members. Here are 5 tips for improving these important relationships.

1) Focus on the positive – Many of us tend to dwell on the negative aspects of our interactions with others and others’ negative qualities – the things that get under our skin – rather than the positive aspects. We can’t change other people, so it’s better to focus on what we like about other people and their strengths rather than zero in on the negative qualities that we don’t like. What we focus on expands, so it’s better to focus on the positive.

2) Show appreciation and gratitude – Sometimes we take the positive for granted and assume that others know that we appreciate them. Whether they know it or not, it’s nice to hear it. We need to continually show others appreciation and gratitude for their positive quailties and what they bring to the team, relationship, etc. if we want them to continue to strengthen and demonstrate these positive qualities and behaviors.

3) Ask for what you need – We can’t assume that others know what we expect from them, and we can’t get upset when they don’t give us what we want if we didn’t ask for it. We sometimes assume that other people who know us well can read our minds and automatically know what we want and expect. This is not the case. We must communicate our wants and needs in order for other people to meet them.

4) Give effective feedback – When others do something that we like or don’t like, we need to communicate this in order to get the type of behavior that we want in the future. When others do something that we like, we need to say, “Thank you” and let them know the impact of their behavior. Similarly, when others do something that we don’t like, we need to let them know the impact and ask for what we would like instead in the future and get their agreement on it.

5) Ask for feedback – Many times we are so focused on what we want from others that we don’t give much thought to what they may need from us. It’s important to take time to ask others what they need from us and how we can be a better boss, spouse, parent, friend, sibling, etc.

We can’t control or change others, but we can influence the quality of our relationships by engaging in these behaviors. By following these tips, others will see positive changes in us, and may in turn positively alter their behavior in response to us. If nothing else, we will be viewed in a more positive light by others.

  “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

 “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”– Oprah Winfrey

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