Relate Well! Blog

Addressing the all-important and often perplexing topics and issues related to enhancing your personal growth and professional development

Character Counts at Work

It’s a classic scene from a movie: The crime boss orders a hit and the professional killer finds the target. He looks the victim in the eye and says, “Nothing personal. It’s just business.” I would argue that the situation is extremely personal for the guy that gets shot! It’s also deeply, personally affecting the ones who gave the order and the one who pulled the trigger. We cannot really separate what we do from who we are at the core, that is, our character.

So, assuming that you are not in such an extreme profession, it’s still important to remember that character counts on the job. Whether you’re president of a large organization or just starting out washing dishes at a restaurant, integrity, diligence and honesty are the keys to success and satisfaction at work.

It’s important to remember that character and integrity at work should not be based on external circumstances, but by inner convictions. Sometimes people tend to view a...

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When your Spouse Wants Out of the Marriage - Part II

Last time we introduced you to the first two steps of my recommended five-step response to when your spouse wants out of the marriage, but you don’t.  The natural temptation when we experience rejection is to hold on very tightly to what we fear we are about to lose, however, when it comes to relationships that is generally the last thing you want to do.

To review, the first step is to “go on the record” with what you think, feel and want from your partner.  The second step is to resist the urge or impulse to over pursue.  When you play the role of pursuer your partner is much more likely to play the role of distancer – even more so than they might on their own.

Here are the last three steps to consider applying when your spouse wants out of your marriage.

3. Set appropriate boundaries and be willing to follow through with them.

If your spouse is disrespecting your marriage by staying out late on the weekends, pursuing opposite-sex friendships...

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When your Spouse Wants Out of the Marriage - Part I

“I care about you… but I’m just not in love with you anymore.”  These are some of the most chilling words a person can hear, especially if they are committed to their marriage and in love with their spouse.

When one person begins to feel indifferent about their partner and marriage they enter the “red” or “danger” zone of their relationship.  Understandably, but unfortunately, most people react to the emotional withdrawal of their partner with incredible fear and desperation – the very reaction that can lead to a loss of self-respect, increased anger and even more physical and emotional isolation.  In other words, sometimes the harder you try, the worse it gets.

If you have been rejected by your spouse and he or she is currently unwilling to constructively address the problems, I recommend that you carefully think through your response by considering the tips in this two-part blog post.

Live, Work and Relate Well!...

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Is Truthfulness Overrated?

Is truthfulness a character trait that is way overrated? Has it gone out of style? If you believe much of what you hear in the media you might conclude that it is.

It would seem that many people today believe that as long as they get what they want out of life it isn’t important how they get it – even if it involves lying, stealing or cheating. I believe that the serious decline of the American spirit is due, in large part, to a pervasive loss of honesty and truthfulness.

Who can we trust today to tell the truth? According to a Roper poll, people believe that clergy tell the truth 49% of the time, doctors, 48% of the time, best friends, 26% of the time and the President of the United States only 8% of the time. These are disturbing and discouraging statistics aren’t they?

The question for you is can you be trusted to tell the truth? No matter what the polls say, no matter what the media says is normal or acceptable, there is no excuse for deceit when you consider...

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You Reap What You Sow

From the earliest writings, wise humans have found ways to express this fundamental truth: You reap what you sow.  While this cannot be taken as a promise for every individual experience you have, you can count on it to play out in the grand scheme of your life.

It stands to reason that if you plant a seed for a geranium, you’re going to produce a geranium. If you plant poison ivy, you better stock up on anti-itch cream. It’s no different with your choices, attitudes, habits and behaviors.

It can be surprising to find that some people can’t see the connection between what they say or do and the results they get. Marriages can be negatively impacted when a husband speaks harshly or critically to his wife and then is angry when she is not affectionate with him. Or when a wife criticizes her husband in front of the children or friends, and then has no understanding of why he prefers to work late instead of coming home. Sometimes, we can be blind to the obvious.


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How to Effectively Motivate Employees

In his book, Linchpin, Seth Godin reports on a survey conducted by author Richard Florida.  Florida and his research team gave twenty-thousand creative professionals a list of thirty-eight factors believed to help motivate employees to do their best at work.  Each survey participant was asked to rank order the factors that motivated them the most.  Here is a list of the top ten motivators:

1.  Challenge and responsibility

2.  Flexibility

3.  A stable work environment

4.  Money

5.  Professional development

6.  Peer recognition

7.  Stimulating colleagues and bosses

8.  Exciting job content

9.  Organizational culture

10. Location and community

Godin points out that only one of the factors mentioned above, money, is a clearly extrinsic motivator.  The rest are either things we do for ourselves or things that we value because of who we are.  It’s interesting to note that money is the only thing most...

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Ten Commitments of Great Parents

At one time or another, nearly every parent says, “I wish my children came with a set of instructions!” While none of us can claim to have all the answers, I’ve given a lot of thought to some of the basic rules for raising healthy children. So, I submit for your consideration a simple “Top Ten” list of ways to be great parents.

1. PROVIDE FOR PHYSICAL NEEDS – Growing children need healthy diets, adequate clothing, and quality health care. And they need protection from harm – from “small stuff” like sunburn or too much junk food to real dangers like careless driving or access to alcohol or drugs.

2. BE THERE FOR THEM – When your kids talk to you, face them and really listen. Turn off the TV if you have to. As much as possible, attend Little League games, school conferences or band concerts. Your presence, attention, and availability mean so much!

3. GIVE THEM “ROOTS AND WINGS” – Children need to try new...

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From Underperformer to High Achiever

Do you ever feel like you’re just never going to get anywhere in your career? Or that real success always seems to be out of reach? Over time, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing you don’t have what it takes to be a star performer, but you don’t have to stay stuck there. Here are some things you can do to move you from being an underperformer to a high achiever.

Examine what you believe about yourself.  Negative self-perceptions or beliefs are often to blame for why we get “stuck” in a discouraging cycle of underperformance.   We are often our own worst critics, and judge ourselves harshly. Experiencing failure is not the same as being a failure. Often the most successful people will admit they’ve failed many times on the road to high achievement. Every skill requires practice, including success. Practice by celebrating small successes. Resist the urge to downplay what went right. Instead of telling yourself what you...

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The Power of Habit

People who come to me for coaching often have several things in common. They tend to be intelligent, growth-minded, and open to change. They’re usually genuine assets to their companies with great potential. This may make you wonder why they need coaching. But the other thing they have in common is that one or more bad habits stand in the way of greater success.

In my meetings with clients, I often share this narrative because it’s such an effective description of the power of habit:

I am your constant companion.  I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden.  I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.  I am completely at your command.  Half the things you do you might just as well turn over to me, and I will be able to do them quickly, correctly. 

I am easily managed – you must merely be firm with me.  Show me exactly how you want something done, and after a few lessons I will do it automatically.  I am the servant of...

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7 Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids

If you are looking for ways to better relate to and get connected with your kids, many of the parents I have worked with over the years have found the 7 strategies listed below to be highly effective.

Live, Work and Relate Well!

Dr. Todd

Get Up… off the couch, or away from the computer. Connecting with your kids, most of all, takes paying attention to them. Distractions like TV, work, computer games, or phone calls will rob you of time and energy your kids need, deserve and enjoy. 

Get Down… to their level. Remember what your first day of school was like? Or that whole Junior High experience? In order to connect with your kids, try to see their world the way they see it. Just because you’re pretty sure there’s no monster under the bed doesn’t mean your child doesn’t need you to stoop down and take a look. Your child will be more open with you if you respect their feelings, no matter how immature they are right now.

Get Around...

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