We have all heard at some point in our lives the adages:
“There is no “I” in Team”, “Two is better than one”, and “It’s not about what you know, but who you know”.
The list goes on. What you need to know is that relationships are “essential” in today’s generation. With the amount of fraud, identity theft, and lack of decorum going on during this century, people are just not trustworthy. If you are not trustworthy, who wants to associate with you?
We live in a generation where technology has rapidly expanded. It has become the primary means in which people associate with one another; however, we are humans. We desire to have “physical” interactions with one another. Technology has limited this vital need to interact with one another. Therefore, it is essential that you try to develop personal bonds with the people you encounter in your daily lives.
You may be wondering “why?” You may even be saying, “I am not a people person”, “People keep up too much drama”, or “I don’t need any friends.” Does this sound familiar?
If so, you need to change your thinking! Having and maintaining relationships is essential! It is true that you have to be careful. You cannot expect to have a relationship with anyone and everyone you encounter; therefore, I have outlined questions you should consider when deciding to pursue a relationship and/or maintain a relationship. Please see the following below:
Relationship Assessment Questions
What benefit do I get from associating with this person?
- Does this person encourage you or discourage you?
- Does this person help you accomplish you dreams and/or goals?
- Does this person utilize your time in an effective manner?
Is this a person of strong moral values?
- Does this person have character? Does this person do what he or she says he is going to do?
- Does this person have integrity? Does this person do what is right?
- Does the person display unconditional love to others?
The checklist above is a synthesized list made for your convenience. There are more questions that should be considered, but these are the foundational underpinnings to a successful relationship, whether in your professional life and/or business life.
It is important to note that any relationship you are in (professional/personal) should serve a benefit to you! A relationship that is one-sided generally will not last very long. Any relationship should emulate the “give-and-take” exchange. This means that both parties involved in the relationship will exchange benefits to one another during the course of the relationship.
For example, you have a “girlfriend” who you consider your best friend. She constantly calls you with her family problems and you give her advice. Then about two months later you have a problem. You call her to talk about your issue with your husband and she tells you she is unavailable. You say no problem and for her to call you back when she is free. She never calls you back, but it in the interim she is still calling you with her family problems. This is a classic example of a one-sided relationship. You are the one encouraging her and on the other hand, she is draining you. When you need the benefit reciprocated, she was unavailable.
The conclusion is if the relationship serves no purpose and/or no benefit to you, then you need to let it go. It will only aggravate you and frustrate you by trying to maintain the relationship. This principle can be applied in a professional relationship as well.
Now the next point to consider is that you went through the assessment and concluded that the relationship was a keeper! We need to consider what information should you be disclosed and who you should be taking advice from.
What information should be disclosed?
I am a firm believer in the idea that if you don’t want something known to everyone, it is best to keep it to yourself. We all are all human and we all have our flaws.
In a professional setting, you should keep your conversations limited to “professional and business” purposes. It is inappropriate to discuss your personal problems and/or issues in the work setting. Now, if you work with someone who you consider to be a friend outside of work then the conversation should occur after work hours.
Again the rule-of-thumb is: “If you don’t want everyone to know “it”, it is best to keep it to yourself”.
This rule applies to personal relationships as well. Do not tell information to people that you are trying to hide and/or prefer others not know. If you must tell someone something and need to vent, it is best to keep a journal. Even with a journal, I caution you on what you write in it because what would you do if you lost it? It will have all your personal thoughts and secrets in it. Just be careful.
Who should you be taking advice from?
I have learned over the years that there are people who can give good advice and people that can give bad advice. The people who gave bad advice are the ones who never experienced what I experienced and/or was not in my current situation. The people who gave good advice, experienced what I experienced and/or could relate to the situation at-hand.
“Experience is the best teacher”
“You are only as wise as your experiences”
You should only take advice from those who can offer you advice that will “benefit” you. If the advice is not beneficial then you should scratch that from your memory bank. In addition, if a person cannot relate to you because of their inexperience it is best not to take advice from this person.
Note about the Author: Ms. ReeJade Richmond in an Entrepreneur who conducts business within the Detroit Metropolitan Area. Her business is focused on helping women discovering their greatness by providing support tools such as motivational speaking seminars/workshops, wellness and nutritional coaching, and business consulting.
You can contact her at any of the sites listed below: