Relate Well! Blog

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

Keys to Confronting Well - Part I

Many people struggle with confronting well. The thought of speaking up, especially during a conflict or uncomfortable situation, can be almost paralyzing. However, the ability to effectively confront tough issues by clearly stating what you think, feel, and want can be one of the most valuable interpersonal skills a person can possess.

This week we will look at the first five of the ten keys to confronting well so you can be prepared for those difficult conversations.

  1. Objectively describe your concern

Stick to the facts only when describing your concern or complaint. If you begin by talking about the other person’s motives or intentions, you’re likely to trigger a defensive or angry reaction.

  1. Avoid making it personal

Address the action or behavior without attacking the person with criticism, name calling or blame. Negative personal comments can damage your relationship, even into the future.

  1. Keep your comments brief and to the point

Reserve the lectures for the...

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How to Exercise More Patience

Patience is a virtue, they say. If your patience is being tested and tried, it can be hard to see what value you receive from your situation. Being “good for goodness’ sake” may seem like a low return on your investment of frustration, but in reality you gain significant value by exercising patience.

People often confuse patience with apathy or being a wimp, so I looked it up in a thesaurus and found an impressive variety of synonyms – words like composure, endurance, perseverance, poise, tolerance and self-control. None of those words suggest weakness or indifference – and in fact, those two words are actually listed in the thesaurus as antonyms (opposites) of patience!

A misunderstanding of patience can lead to the notion that when a challenge arises, you should simply not respond, but that can cause more problems – unresolved issues, resentment, bitterness, and the expectation that things will never get better.  Patience is better...

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Time Killers at the Office

Labor Day got me thinking about how the concept of work has changed over the years. I respect and applaud men and women who work with their hands in trades and services, especially because so much of the work being done today is in an office environment. That is where our focus is today, but even if you are a craftsman or laborer, you will find some benefit in these recommendations.

Do you want to improve your performance and get more done at work? If you’re an honest, hard-working employee, manager or executive your answer is probably “yes”.  In my consultations with executive coaching clients, working smarter, streamlining efficiency and increasing productivity are nearly always included in their primary goals.  So one tool we use regularly is a list of time killers at the office.  This list is comprised of activities that on the surface seem harmless or even important, but in reality can greatly undermine the quality and quantity of work we...

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How to Keep Your Best Employees

During a recent executive coaching session the topic of employee turnover came up. My client shared what has been an ongoing problem in his company: losing star performers. Recognizing the tremendous expense associated with recruiting, hiring and training as well as losses in production and efficiency, he wanted to know what his company could do keep their best employees.

In addition to the obvious factors of competitive benefits and salaries, here are some of the key strategies to help you keep your best employees:

 

1. Regularly acknowledge their accomplishments and contributions.

2. Make sure they stay positively challenged and stretched.

3. Frequently revisit your vision and mission with genuine enthusiasm and passion.

4. Groom them for greater responsibility.

5. Give them regular feedback along with clear suggestions for improvement.

6. Empower them and then stay out of their way. When Lincoln appointed General Ulysses S. Grant as commander of the Union armies in...

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Honesty Builds Strong Relationships

When my youngest daughter, Kathryn, was four-years-old I asked her why she wrote her name on our front door with a pencil. She responded by saying, “Because I couldn’t find my marker.” Although her behavior was unacceptable, I found her honesty to be quite refreshing. It was one of many times I had to bite my lip so I could maintain a serious expression while disciplining one of our kids.

Unfortunately, there are many people today who don’t value the virtue of honesty. Every day we witness the dishonesty of public officials, high profile athletes and many others who are role models to our children. Many people don’t think twice about telling a lie if it will keep them out of trouble or from having to experience a painful consequence. Too often, people are unwilling to stand up and take responsibility for their actions.

People often justify dishonesty by rationalization, or inventing a reason why doing something wrong is actually right or at least...

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How to Be Your Daughter's Hero

parenting relationships Aug 14, 2018

Heroes are often people who face seemingly impossible odds, set personal wants and needs aside, and run to the rescue of someone who isn’t strong enough to help themselves. That’s also a pretty accurate description of a good father, don’t you think?

Dad, do you want your daughter to make smart choices when it comes to drugs and alcohol, sexual intimacy, boyfriends, academic performance, how she dresses and developing a strong faith? If so, I want to encourage you to read the four tips from Dr. Meg Meeker’s book, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters below.

  1. Make a plan.

Your aspirations for your daughter will be clearest when she is young. When she’s an infant, you know with crystal clarity what you will expect from her: everything from what she will be allowed to say and do to whom she can date. Write it down now, and keep it clear in your mind and in hers. Teens love to tangle with your thinking. So have your rules inscribed like the Ten...

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Balance Your Life

Just like a tightrope walker, you need to know how to maintain balance in your life so you don’t fall into trouble. When even one area of your life is overloaded, it is time to ask, “Why?”

For many of us, the culprit is over-commitment. You may say, “Yes” to everything because you are afraid to say, “No.” Some people feel guilty when they disappoint someone with a refusal. In other cases, people who over-commit are insecure and trying to win approval. Some people have what appears to be a vibrant zest for life that they want to experience every single opportunity that comes along – but forget that some time must be saved for rest and self-care. Letting everyone else’s ideas and agendas control your time and energy will quickly throw you off balance.

An off-kilter life can also lead to discouragement because too much time and effort spent in one area of life will usually cause a deficit in another area. I understand...

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Your Greatest Investment

I will never forget attending the funeral of a man I had known for over 25 years. One by one, people shared stories of how he had touched their lives. His 75 years on this earth were well recorded with memories of his generosity, kindness, loyalty and love. As I glanced over to see how his wife was holding up I could see that she was filled with joy to hear how her husband’s greatest investments in life were paying off.

When we hear the word “investment” we automatically think in terms of money. However, there are other things in life we can invest with the hope of experiencing a significant return. Far too many people find themselves at the end of their life realizing that those things they invested their time, talents and resources in had little, if any, meaningful impact.

Maybe the simplest way to put it is this: If you spend your life only investing in your own pleasure and pursuits your legacy will die with you. None of us want to get to the end of life and...

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Are You Together or Unified?

You can certainly notice when a sports or business team is unified because they tend to experience a great deal of success. Each player focuses on their role in creating a well-coordinated effort to win as a team.

The same is true for marriages. In my work with couples I find that one of the major contributing factors to relationship dissatisfaction has to do with the fact that they are together but not truly unified.

Many couples are together in that they live in the same home, share the same financial resources, sleep in the same bed, attend their kids’ Saturday soccer games and go out on an occasional date. These things are good, but they don’t necessarily reflect unity. Let me explain.

Unity is defined as the state or fact of being united or combined into one, as of the parts of a whole. This definition applies so perfectly to marriage! It goes deeper than simply being in proximity to one another. Unity in marriage is characterized by several...

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How to Write a Personal Mission Statement

For years, I have been assisting men and women in their effort to clarify the purpose and direction they want for their lives. One of the tools I have encouraged them to use in this process is the Personal Mission Statement.

You have likely heard the widely-quoted statement that if you write down your goals you significantly improve your chances of accomplishing them.  This principle reinforces the value of creating a written personal mission statement to help you become who you want to be and accomplish what you want to do.

Over the years, I have gathered information from many sources on creating a personal mission statement and want to share some of that information with you.

The challenge is to write your mission statement in such a way that it will be effective, so while there is no required format or formula, the following guidelines may be helpful:

Keep it simple, clear and brief. The best mission statements tend to be three to five sentences long. Identify the area...

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