Relate Well! Blog

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

Give it a Rest: The Importance of Taking a Break

When I think about resting, something rather strange occurs. At first, I begin to imagine lounging on the couch, watching golf and (inevitably) falling asleep. But just as I begin to enjoy this image, I am yanked back into reality with the thought that dozing off to a lullaby of polite clapping and hushed announcers is just plain lazy.

This kind of internal scolding is a culturally-driven, knee-jerk reaction many of us have because we have grown up in an environment that values Type A drive and workaholism. “I do, therefore I am.” We have come to believe that our worth is found in our productivity, and our value to our employers is achieved in tireless, devoted activity with no thought of our own needs.

The good news is that the tide is turning, and workers today are less likely to be plagued by guilt if they grab a quick nap mid-afternoon or take a short walk outside to clear their minds, and some companies actually endorse activities that refresh their employees. This...

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How Do I Get My Husband to Help Around the House? Part III

In my first two posts addressing the question of how to get your husband to help around the house, I talked about two key components to the answer.  First, get rid of the mindset that you are a Volunteer Coordinator and replace it with a Partnership mindset.  The second part of the answer involves being open, honest and direct with your spouse about what you think, feel and need from them and when understanding is achieved, ask for agreement.

If your husband is willing to meet your need for equitably dividing up the responsibilities around the home and is in agreement with the final “plan” you are well on your way.  Congratulations!  The next step is to periodically review the agreement to see if it is working out as you both had hoped.  If it isn’t, continue to modify as appropriate and revisit again in the future.

This last post is for those instances when you might meet up with a little resistance or opposition from your husband. ...

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How Do I Get My Husband to Help Around the House? Part II

Today I will continue to respond to Sandy’s question related to how she can get her husband to help around the house. If you missed the first part of my answer to Sandy’s question please check out my last blog post.  I also want to reiterate that, with some couples, it is the husband who is more concerned about household chores than the wife is, so the principles I’m sharing can work for either partner.

First, the best solutions to life’s challenges are always those built upon solid principles.  The first part of my answer to the challenge Sandy is facing is based on the principle that husbands and wives are partners in their relationship and consequently share responsibility for managing and maintaining their home.

What I’m about to share with you today is built on two additional principles.  First, the principle of being open, honest and direct with your thoughts, feelings and needs and, second, seeking to first...

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How Do I Get My Husband to Help Around the House? Part I

“How do I get my spouse to help around the house?  I’ve been married for 15 years and I still don’t know how to solve this problem.  What can I do?”  – (Sandy L.)

Unequal division of labor related to children and household chores has been a growing problem, especially as more and more wives and mothers work both inside and outside of the home. It creates resentment and hostility and often leads to conflict. In fact, a couple’s inability to effectively remedy this problem can significantly undermine the quality of intimacy and connection in their marriage.

In the next several blog posts I will offer what I have found to be some highly effective tips for solving this very common and frustrating dilemma.

First of all, it’s true that more wives struggle with this issue than husbands, but I have seen plenty of men frustrated with it as well. So, although I will address the problem by answering Sandy’s question, the truths and...

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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

personal growth May 05, 2015

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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