Relate Well! Blog

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

Signs of Overcommitment

I can’t believe 2018 is over. It seems as though it passed in a flash – especially as the holiday rush seemed to accelerate the end of the year. October through December were a fun, fast-moving blur!

While I was growing up, time seemed to pass by so slowly. Important events such as Christmas and summer vacation took “forever” to arrive. Now, each new year seems to pass by faster than the one before. Can you relate?

I have come to realize that the speed with which time passes is directly proportional to how busy I am. I have also learned that the degree to which I feel impatient, frustrated, and pressured is related to my level of overcommitment.

When I become overcommitted everything seems to suffer. Instead of doing a great job, I do a mediocre job. Instead of enjoying the task, I resent it. Instead of spending time with my family, I focus on those things that have specific deadlines.

To break free from over committing yourself, practice these three...

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Holiday Traditions Can Strengthen Your Family Ties

Have you heard this one? During a discussion of holiday traditions, the teenager complains, “We don’t have any traditions. We just do the same old things every year!” While we smile at the kid’s perception, we recognize the value of giving the family a sense of continuity that ties them together through the years.

I am reminded of a holiday a couple of years ago. The host of the family gathering that year was dropping hints that they planned a surprise “non-traditional” dinner, and the person most distraught about the prospect was a 17 year old boy! Just when you feel as though a child wants nothing to do with the “old-fashioned ways” it becomes apparent that it actually matters to them – a lot!

Traditions don’t have to be fancy or expensive. In fact, it is often best if they are not so they won’t be difficult to carry on. When the children grow up and establish their own homes, it’s heart-warming to see them...

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How to Have a Perfect Holiday

The most surefire way to have a perfect holiday is… just kidding… you can’t. It would be more accurate to say that the way to virtually guarantee that your holiday is disappointing is to set your mind on having everything perfect. While there is often a long list of details to attend to prepare for the holiday celebration, there is one item that should be #1 on your list: Be flexible.

If your idea of a perfect holiday doesn’t involve any other people, you may be able to come close to achieving it. But as soon as you begin to add your spouse, children, relatives, friends, co-workers – basically anyone – to the festivities, you will need to become willing to bend, stretch and flex to accommodate their schedules, quirks and needs.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

People are messy. They can be unpredictable, busy, forgetful, opinionated, cranky, and a whole list of other qualities that can make it hard for them to fit the mold...

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How to Respond to Challenging Customers

As the holiday season swings in to high gear, retail businesses and service organizations are likely to see a rise in the number of customers they serve each day – as well as stress levels associated with challenging customers.

The importance of excellent Customer Service cannot be overstated in today’s competitive markets. The reality is that people have many vendors, providers and merchants to choose from when making purchases, and if you want to keep them coming back to yours, you and your staff need to understand why it’s important and how to achieve it.

Let’s begin with the “Why”. Excellent customer service…

• Builds trust – According to business mogul Warren Buffet, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

• Is more important than price – 9 out of 10 U.S. consumers say they would pay more to ensure a superior customer experience. (Harris...

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Digging in to Gratitude

This time of year we are bombarded with messages about gratitude. Thanksgiving reminds us to literally “give thanks” for the blessings we enjoy. But I wonder how many of us really “dig in” and go beyond a quick list of people, possessions and experiences we have in our lives.

How much more grateful would you feel if you went deeper into your list? Here’s an exercise to try:

I give thanks to ____________ for _____________.
Because of this blessing, I have learned _______________________.
Because of this blessing I am able to _________________________.
Without this blessing, my life would be lacking ____________________.

These statements can spur creative and expansive thinking that will enrich your relationships with a deeper appreciation. You can modify the items to fit the situation, but let’s look at some examples to get you started.

I give thanks to my mom for teaching me how to cook. Because of this blessing I have learned that I can prepare...

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The Costly Effects of Low Self-Confidence

Everyone struggles with a lack of confidence at times. It is estimated that 85% of the world’s population experiences low self-esteem and consequently, low self-confidence at some point in their life.

We all know the feeling of inadequacy and incompetence. It can happen when you face a new job, new relationship, or an unknown situation. There is some comfort in knowing that you are not alone, but you don’t want to get stuck in low self-confidence because it can impact every aspect of your life. It can be at the root of disappointing friendships and love relationships, lower long-term earning potential and missed opportunities for high quality jobs and promotions. There is also strong correlation between low self-confidence and substance abuse, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and other destructive conditions and behaviors.

How Low Self-Confidence Affects Relationships

People with low self-confidence are more likely to have trouble starting and maintaining quality...

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Are You “Spooked” About Getting Married? (Maybe you should be!)

For most people, getting married and establishing a life with that special someone is one of our greatest desires. And it’s not surprising, considering that we are social beings with a need for secure attachment. Being securely attached to someone in a committed relationship is a vital source of stability, safety and contentment – or at least that’s what we want!

Unfortunately, we can be blinded by those desires and overlook some important red flags. I recently created this list that will help you understand when you should get “spooked” about getting married and slow down… or even run!

Before You Say, “I Do”… Consider These Cautions

Marriage, in its original design, is a sacred commitment that promises fulfillment, stability, partnership and purpose. But it only works well if it is based on a firm foundation. Be very cautious, or avoid the altar altogether if…

1. Your partner doesn’t share your strongly held faith...

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Self-Esteem vs. Self-Confidence: Working Together for Your Good

To feel successful and be satisfied in life, a person needs a healthy sense of self-esteem and self-confidence. Let’s look at what these qualities are and how they work together.

“Esteem” in Latin means to appraise, value, rate, weigh, or estimate. Simply stated, your self-esteem reflects what you believe about yourself – positive, negative, or neutral. Your beliefs in turn influence the quality of your emotions. And, in many cases, it is the quality of both your beliefs and emotions that strongly influences and shapes your behavior.

Self-esteem generally covers two primary types of belief. The first involves beliefs related to self-efficacy. This fancy word means the degree to which you believe you can succeed at something or accomplish a certain task. For example, if you have a strong sense of self-efficacy and your boss assigns you a difficult project you may think, “Wow, this won’t be easy, but I can get it done.” Weak...

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10 Common Leadership Mistakes

Leading is challenging enough without becoming your own worst enemy and  having to deal with the potential negative fallout associated with the 10 common leadership mistakes listed below. Take a moment and ask yourself if you might fall prey to one or more of these mistakes. If so, identify some action steps that will help you avoid these potential pitfalls in the future.

  1. Making yourself scarce

Workers appreciate a visible leader – someone who takes a personal interest in the work that’s being done by making it a priority to get to know those who are doing it. Make sure you always have an open door policy that is more than just talk or a print you hang on the wall.

  1. Allowing the vision to fade

Good leaders make it a priority to keep the vision of the organization fresh and focused. The consistent presence of a well-defined vision provides motivation, enthusiasm and purpose for those responsible for carrying it out. Live your vision, don’t just talk about...

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Keys to Confronting Well - Part II

In last week’s blog I shared the first five of ten keys to confronting well. Have you had an opportunity to practice those principles in a confrontation? If so, let us know in the comments below!

Confrontation can be a scary proposition, but when you learn to do it well it can be the key to resolving differences and strengthening trust in your relationships.  Here are the last five keys to confronting well.

  1. Express your thoughts and feelings

Expressing what you feel openly and honestly at the outset of a difficult conversation will help to reduce anxiety and diffuse pent up emotion that might otherwise escalate during the discussion. For example, stating, “I am angry” will actually help prevent anger from controlling your responses.

  1. Remember that it’s far better to be respected than to be liked

Although the person you are confronting may not like what you have to say, if you appropriately communicate your concerns, they are much more likely to...

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