Relate Well! Blog

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

Earning the Trust of Your Employees

We live in unsettling times in many ways. We are constantly reminded of the need to protect ourselves from identity thieves, credit card scammers, people laying in wait in parking lots to hi-jack vehicles and sociopaths tampering with packaging in the grocery store. We are bombarded with headlines that scream about lies from politicians, fraud by financiers and broken trust in celebrity marriages. Almost everywhere you turn, you are warned not to trust anyone. We are conditioned to withhold trust.

This conditioning impacts every area of life, and the workplace is no exception. In my work with organizations I often discover that there is a common problem for leaders – employees who don’t trust them. The challenge for leaders and managers today is breaking down the barriers of suspicion and self-protection and learn how to earn the trust of their employees.

I came across an article in Forbes Magazine by Glenn Llopis that listed seven characteristics that undermine the...

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Meet Conflict Head On

We recently escaped the brutal Arizona desert heat with a road trip to San Diego. Paradise, right? Fog in the morning, beach temperatures hovering around 70 degrees, beautiful scenery and stunning colors, and an enormous number of vehicles displaying Arizona plates vying for parking spots! I expected peace and quiet, yet what I experienced nestled in this supposed utopia was… conflict. Conflict all around me.

A young family in the restaurant battling the cries of their kids. At the beach, young people were arguing what bathing suit was the sexiest (someone tell me when thongs became the norm on beaches!!!), and at the hotel swimming pool where a couple held hands coming in but stormed out 30 minutes later. As you know by now, in relationships, in families, at work, conflict is ever present. The goal is not to avoid conflict, but rather to embrace and grow through it.

In his book Take the Stairs, Rory Vaden shares how cows and buffalo react differently when storms roll off the...

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How Counseling Can Save Your Life

I will be talking with Dr. Randy Carlson on the Intentional Living radio program Tuesday, August 22nd. He has asked me to spend a few minutes talking about the importance of counseling and how it can potentially save a person’s life.

As I consider how to describe the value of counseling, a few things come to mind.

At some time in everyone’s life, something unexpected and painful can occur. Death, divorce, injustice, rejection and serious accidents can bring about intense emotions or slow-burning resentment. Counseling can help you identify and manage the hurt or anger that could lead to destructive decisions and negative reactions. Lashing out in anger or holding on to resentment can have long-lasting devastating consequences and derail the healing and recovery process. Letting hurt and anger go unattended will steal the peace and joy from your life.

Statistics tell us that 40 million Americans over 18 suffer from anxiety disorders.  Almost all of us have...

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Too Much of a Good Thing

The other night as we were finishing a particularly great meal, I said, “I could eat that every day.” At that time, I meant it. The taste lingering in my mouth, the feeling of being full and the fun of sharing a meal with people I love had created a wonderful sense of satisfaction. But then I began thinking about what I had just said. When we step back and consider a statement like that, we realize that even good things, in excess, eventually lose their appeal.

You know the old saying, “Variety is the spice of life.” The reason steak or lobster is such a treat is that most of us don’t have such rich and expensive food that often. I know a family who raises their own beef so at their house, steak is “the usual.” Since they eat steak so regularly they consider it special to have macaroni and cheese or take-out chicken!

Let’s face it – there’s such a thing as having too much of a good thing. If we create a standard of...

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Leadership vs. Management

If an organization of any kind is going to function successfully, it needs both leadership and management. While some people use those terms interchangeably, they are, in fact, distinctly different and valuable functions in order to create an environment of productivity and performance.

Leaders, in the simplest terms, are people that other people follow. Think about someone who inspires you to want to participate in a cause, goal or vision. Who do you know that makes you say, “I want to be part of what he or she is doing?” Leaders cast the vision and move things and people forward.

While great leaders may motivate you to be part of something by stirring your desire to participate, they don’t always possess the organizational skills or attention to detail required to make the vision happen. A successful organization needs someone who can provide structure and efficient processes in order to accomplish the goal. Even lofty ideals need to be upheld by someone...

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Are You the Genuine Article?

Have you ever been tricked into buying something you thought was authentic only to find out later that you received a counterfeit? With the explosion of online shopping comes greater opportunity for unscrupulous sellers to fool buyers into investing in products that aren’t worth the price.

On the surface, it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between a fake and the real thing. However, upon closer examination it becomes evident that the counterfeit lacks authenticity, quality and reliability. What a disappointment to realize that an expensive item like a Rolex watch, a Louis Vuitton handbag or a pair of high-tech Nike sneakers isn’t the real thing!

This is not only true for jewelry or clothing, but for people as well. It is not uncommon to find people wearing masks that portray a false image they think others want to see.

The difference between a fake brand name and a person trying to project themselves a certain way is that one is motivated by greed and the...

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Three Simple Tips to Help Balance Your Life

“There just isn’t enough of me to go around! It’s our busy season at work and it’s impossible to keep up with my job demands on top of my family responsibilities. It feels like I am headed for a break-down!”

When your life seems out of control and you’ve got endless demands tugging at you from all directions, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, fatigued and just plain stressed! You know you need to do something to preserve your health and your sanity, but what can you do?

Believe it or not, balancing your life does not require massive changes. You don’t have to quit your job, abandon your family and escape to a remote retreat in order to feel peaceful and happy. In fact, true balance is something that starts WITHIN YOU first and foremost, no matter what else is happening in your outer life circumstances. Attitudes, habits and choices will determine the balance you achieve.

Below you’ll find three simple ways to begin building a...

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Do You Have a Need to be Right?

At times, wanting to be right is simply an outgrowth of healthy, good-humored competition. For example, if you are playing a trivia game with a group of friends, whoever gets the right answer will probably tease other players, cheer for themselves and maybe indulge in some “trash talk” to rub it in that “I was right, you were wrong!” If everyone laughs along with the winner, it’s a good indication that the friends are confident in themselves and their relationship to one another. But if one of the players becomes angry or distressed, it may be an indication of an unhealthy emotional response to being wrong.

An unhealthy need to be right may grow out of a pervasive fear that they are not good enough or smart enough, or that their value is based on performance. This dynamic shows up at times in counseling with people who have been subjected to highly critical parents or spouses. If someone perceives that they must be perfect in order to be accepted,...

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Sincere Encouragement Breeds Success

If you have the responsibility of managing employees, you are well aware that their performance has a huge impact on your job satisfaction and on the success of your business or department. Good leadership and management requires a number of significant skills, but today I want to review one in particular: encouragement.

You may have completed years of college and training, and you may have learned many impressive skills in order to rise to the position you are in today, but sincere encouragement is one of the most powerful tools you can use to motivate people to work hard and develop loyalty.

Encouraging your employees and teammates is a significant part of your leadership responsibility and success, whether they are digging ditches, writing complex computer code, responding to emergencies, teaching, helping, driving, selling a product or assembling parts. No matter what kind of work is being done, an employee will do a better job if they receive encouragement from their...

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Riding the Waves of Change

If you have ever gazed at the ocean for awhile, you saw it change with every wave that came to shore. Life is like that; waves of change come along, sometimes small and sometimes gigantic, and nothing is exactly the same after that.

There is a myth in our culture that promotes the notion that people hate change. The truth is – people love change! People change their clothes, hairstyle, and favorite restaurant. They rearrange their furniture, travel to new places and do things to add variety to their lives on a regular basis.

There is, however, a type of change that people don’t like: that is any change they have little to no control over. In today’s world, we no longer have a guarantee of lifetime employment and technology has revolutionized the workplace. Many of us have heard the dreaded words, “Our company is switching to a new computer system,” and all of a sudden you are fearful that you’re going to feel frustrated and confused for a long...

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