By Jas Singh
Relationships are funny things.
As social creatures we thrive on them. They’re essential to our well being.
And so we search for them. Win the affection of others. And eventually build strong connections and find love.
And then something strange happens.
Like many important things, we start to take things for granted. We neglect what we have. Get greedy and start looking for more – without preserving and building what we already have.
We’ve all experienced or seen people who were once inseparable, slowly drift apart.
Purely because one or both people stopped working on the relationship.
You see what most people fail to see is that relationships are never set in stone. They can never live for ever based on past success.
For them to succeed you have to keep working at them.
Here are some ways how leaders continue to work on relationships.
They schedule time
Human beings crave security and love.
It’s ingrained in our DNA and something we require from when we are babies. Knowing that there is someone out there who loves us – someone who will always be there.
Whether it is finding a best friend in the playground, meeting your soulmate or working with a manager who really believes in you, we spend large chunks of our time and effort finding the people who make us feel complete.
Yet like most things in life, once we fill our desires we quickly develop new ones. And spend more time chasing those – without enjoying and building on what we already have.
Putting the kids first – even though you’ve not spend quality time together for months. Focussing on earning more money for a new house – even though you haven’t read your kids a bedtime story for a week. Being on the road chasing new business – even though you haven’t had lunch with your loyal performers all year.
Although our intentions can often be good, we stop working on the relationship we have and inevitably drift apart.
There is only one key ingredient to keep a relationship alive.
Regular quality time.
Great leaders regularly spend quality time with the people that matter most.
The go back
We often love reminiscing over the past.
It’s because it brings certainty – we’ve been there and know how things turned out.
This is especially true of our relationships. We all have fond memories of best friends, great moments and special feelings. Compared to the current rush-a-minute hectic lives and uncertain future, often many people can miss those “good old times” with the people we treasure most.
That’s why it’s healthy to sometimes go back. Visit that first place that you met. Go to the restaurant where you proposed. Even listen to that now outdated and cringeworthy song – that you both once loved.
Going back re-ignites old feelings and reminds you of how important that person is.
Great leaders take fond trips down memory lane.
The do something new
But going back is usually not enough.
Oh no, not for complex emotional creatures like us!
As well as wanting certainty we also need something else in direct conflict to help us lead a happy and fulfilling life.
Also known as excitement. Or variety. Or adventure.
We still want the butterflies of meeting our lover. The adventure of going somewhere new with our friends. Something new to keep our lives exciting.
Great leaders don’t just woo people to win them over. To get their initial affection.
No sir. Great leaders make their people feel special every day.
Great relationships need continuous effort.
No amount of previous success or closeness can make up for time and effort that we need to spend today.
Hiring managers can gain much from those people who don’t just win relationships – but who maintain them and grow them.
Do you work hard on your relationships?
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