Relate Well! Blog

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

Help, It's December!

Uncategorized Dec 14, 2016

If you are like most people, the month of December typically ushers in a dramatic increase in activity, responsibilities, and irrational expectations. If you are able to maintain a positive and realistic perspective during this busy time of year you are much more likely to experience a very special time of connection, celebration, and joy. To help you with this task, my good friend and co-worker, Liz Bailey, offers some timeless truths for getting the most out of the holiday season.

Live, Work and Relate Well!

Dr. Todd

Some of my neighbors have had their Christmas lights up since before Thanksgiving. I am not sure if I resent them or admire them for being so far ahead on preparing for the holiday season. My feelings on the subject vary, often depending on my current state of mind. I waffle between being joyful that the holidays bring our family together and overwhelmed at the thought of how much time, money and effort it takes to make all that celebration work smoothly. And this mix...

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Strong People Skills = Career Success

Having trouble getting ahead at work? Research reveals that the higher you go on the career ladder the greater the likelihood that obstacles standing in the way of your performance, productivity and advancement are your own problematic behaviors and bad habits. In fact, it is estimated that 80% of those fired from their jobs are let go because of an absence of strong interpersonal skill rather than a lack of technical skill. Therefore, the higher a person goes in an organization, the more significant it is that their people skills (or lack thereof) will ultimately determine how far they will go in their career.

Below is a partial list of people skills that can help you achieve greater success at home and work. Invest in yourself, your relationships and your career by identifying the skills that may represent areas of growth for you!

Understanding others – It can be a challenge to slow down and take the time to better know and understand your coworkers, but it’s...

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Keys to a Life Well Lived

personal growth Nov 22, 2016

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday I want to encourage you to remember five critical keys to a life well lived. If you apply this advice daily to your life I’m confident that you will derive more joy and happiness this season than ever before. I challenge you to…

LIVE SIMPLY! We have been conditioned to want more of everything in order to satisfy our needs and desires. But I challenge you to take a courageous look at all the “stuff” you have in your life and ask if it is a benefit or if it is a burden. Some things we own create a need to store, maintain, and insure, which takes time, energy and money. Other things we think we need create clutter, which produces stress. Do you really need a separate set of dishes for every holiday and season? Do you really need every obscure tool in the Harbor Freight catalog? Do you really need to hold on to every book you ever read? Another challenge to simplify is learning to say “No” sometimes....

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How to Be Good and Angry Over Politics and Other Stuff

Man, have you seen the news lately? As if you could miss it…

It has been a brutal year, politically speaking. If there has ever been such a widely disputed campaign with such visceral reactions to the candidates, we’ve never seen it in our lifetimes. And no time in history has it been so easy to flood people’s lives with rhetoric, accusations, name-calling and polar-opposite viewpoints. If our earliest presidential candidates produced such hot controversy, the news didn’t travel so fast. We hear from multiple news outlets that Americans are responding to anger. Some were angry before the election; enough to vote for major change in the government. And now others are angry after the election because of the outcome. Government leaders are being met with a barrage of angry American citizens from both sides of the political spectrum.

All Americans have the right to get good and angry when they disagree with political leaders, but you have to ask if the way many...

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When You Don't Get Your Way

How do you respond when things don’t go your way or you don’t get what you want? The current news is filled with reports of people demonstrating their anger and rage about not getting what they want, and I am concerned that the methods too many have chosen to express their feelings are doing much more harm than good. The lack of ability to appropriately express anger and fear along with wants and needs is doing damage on a large scale in many cities, but it also impacts people on an individual level.

If it’s important to you to demonstrate maturity and self-control as well as communicate in a way that will give you credibility and reflect objectivity take the time and make the effort to be good and angry when you don’t get your way.

Life for you will always be difficult if you are unable to maturely, confidently, and fully express your concerns and let others know how you want things to change and that you’re willing to be part of the...

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Do You Listen With Your Eyes?

It was a normal night in the Towne home. I came home from work tired, hungry, and needing a safe haven to sit and be quiet. Four rugrats had learned to give Dad a break those first minutes upon entering their world of play, adventure, questions, and innocent zeal of life.

As I sat down, I put my legs up and began reading the newspaper to unwind. Checking out the headlines and moving to the sports page, I began to enter a zone, tuning everything out as I immersed myself in the world described in the printed page, hiding myself behind the opened newspaper print.

Kids were talking but I was in a comatose cubby. I would occasionally grunt a response, say a polite “Uh-Huh”, “Yep”, “Mmm”. It was then that my daughter did something that has stayed with me for the past 15 years. She pulled the paper down and said, “Daddy, I need to you to listen to me with your eyes when I am talking.”

There is a valuable lesson in that statement by a child...

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Hi-Tech Communication – Use With Caution

Technology can be great. It has made communication faster and easier and become an integral part of our everyday lives both personally and professionally. Many of us remember when business was done primarily through hard copy letters and memos, or old-fashioned telephone calls that sometimes required a written message to be taken if the party you called was unavailable at the time. And if you can imagine it, the telephone was tethered to the desk by a cord!

In the last few years alone we have seen an explosion in the use of text and instant messaging with portable devices that work virtually anywhere in the world. Contracts can be signed electronically, documents can be transmitted instantly via e-mail and stored on the cloud and almost daily we are introduced to new technologies and tools designed to increase the speed and efficiency of social interaction, commerce and communication. All that is great, but let’s slow down for a few minutes to consider whether these fast and...

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1% vs. Perfection

Here are some more great thoughts from my friend and colleague, David Towne.

I’ve got a problem. Okay, I’ve got lots of issues as many of my friends and family know all too well. My singing hurts the ears of those too close to me in proximity. I don’t run anymore unless someone is chasing me. If I mistakenly eat a peanut, egg, carrot, any kind of fish, or watermelon (to name a few), my throat swells shut in seconds and I die.
Yet my most frustrating problem is how, in the past, I have attempted to tackle my life goals.

Maybe you can relate. We get something in our mind and desire to make a change. It could be that we want to lose weight, eat better, spend more quality time with our loved ones, work smarter, curb our social media addiction, go to bed earlier, turn off the television and read more, get more involved at church, and the list goes on and on. The issue that has plagued me for most of my life is that I fail to effectively address the changes I want to make...

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WORDS: Key to Home Improvement

Words are vital to the expression of who you are, what you think and feel and how you relate to others. They are truly one of the most powerful building blocks of our relationships. When we talk to people, the words we choose can build walls, pedestals, bridges or fortresses. The same tools can be used for demolition if we’re not careful, so use caution when speaking to others.

While this is true of all of our conversations with anyone, nowhere is it more evident than in our own homes. The way we talk to those closest to us will shape the design and structure of our family relationships. What type of structure are you building with your family? Let’s look at some of the ways our words affect our closest loved ones.

If your words are harsh or critical, you are building a wall between you and the people placed in your life for you to love and nurture. Every time your words cut into someone you are, in effect, handing them a brick to add to the wall they must build to...

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I Just Don't Like Confrontation

While helping clients navigate the pain and frustration associated with some of their most important relationships I often hear a very familiar phrase, “I just don’t like confrontation.” The truth is, the vast majority of people fear confrontation.  The thought of confrontation often evokes fear of criticism, rejection, and/or conflict. There are multiple reasons associated with wanting to avoid confrontation, but I want to address just one of them today – fear of rejection.

Confrontation is taboo for many people because they want others to like them. Boy, don’t we all want that? It sure beats having them dislike or even hate us.  Wanting to be liked isn’t a bad goal unless you give it an unrealistic level of importance and link it to your self-worth.

When a person thinks they “measure up” only as long as people like them they set themselves up for a life of avoidance fueled by fear. If you believe that losing a...

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