Relate Well! Blog

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

Some Things Never Change

The world, our nation, and our way of living have gone through some incredible changes in the past couple of years that have been difficult and life altering. Fortunately, regarding many of the changes, you can keep the adage in mind, “this too shall pass.”  

We all need to come to terms with changes that are out of our control and make some adjustments to maintain peace of mind in the present day, but to do that, it can be extremely helpful to focus on some timeless truths that can help keep us steady in an ever-changing, aggravating, and uncertain world. 

Take a few minutes to consider these things: 

Character counts. The longer I live, the more I understand that qualities like honesty and integrity usually win over situational ethics and looking out for number one. A “win” may not look the same for everybody, but even if you don’t land the account, get the job, or receive the recognition, you’ll sleep better at night if you...

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Principles for Effective Listening - Part I

Listening is one of the most powerful tools of communication, leadership and relationships. Here are some things you can begin doing today to develop your listening awareness and expertise. Then watch as your relationships and performance improve, too. 

  1. Listening is Active, Not Passive! 

While simply holding your tongue can make you look like you're listening, active listening also involves a conscious, focused effort not only to hear the words but also to discern the complete message the speaker is sending. It takes into consideration the speaker's intent and non-verbal communication, and it's non-judgmental (which, frankly, can be the hard part, so we'll discuss that next time).

To practice active listening, maintain good eye contact and an open body posture. Put down your pen or phone and relax your hands so it doesn't appear that you're just waiting for the speaker to finish so you can get back to "more important" work. Nod your head to acknowledge understanding...

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Job Stress – What Can You Do? Part 2 of 2

Last week we looked at the damaging effects that work-related stress can have on your health and life. Today, we will talk about some of the ways you can better manage the stress you feel.

If you are an employer or if you’re in charge of a team or staff working under your supervision, be sure to consider the tips about how you can make the working environment less stressful, too!

Big improvements in stress management take place in small increments and daily habits. Here are some Recommended Daily Habits to get you started:

  • Set realistic goals and expectations for yourself
  • Do something nice for someone
  • Share a laugh or a word of encouragement with someone you like
  • Make a list of things you are most grateful for
  • Take a leisurely bath or hot shower
  • Rest your eyes for 15 to 30 minutes without interruption
  • Relax outdoors, enjoying nature
  • Revisit your accomplishments - even the smallest ones
  • Listen to soothing music
  • Get up 15 minutes early to avoid having to rush
  • Watch a funny...
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Job Stress – What Can You Do? Part 1 of 2

Today’s workforce faces a multitude of pressures: deadlines, office politics, nonproductive meetings, conflict, job ambiguity, miscommunication, increased workload, inadequate resources, customer complaints and long hours. . . not to mention adjusting to working from home, complying with government requirements or feeling nervous about going back to the office! On-the-job stress can be quite costly, too, because it often results in increased absenteeism, reduced efficiency, low morale, reduced effectiveness, and high staff turnover.

Even before the pandemic, researchers discovered that since 1965 the overall stress levels in the U.S. increased nearly 50%, and that 75-90% of all office visits to health care professionals were for stress-related symptoms and disorders – so we can only imagine how the numbers have been impacted more recently!

We know that a certain level of stress can be good. It actually improves performance by sharpening concentration, focusing...

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Leadership for Growth

If you are an owner or have any leadership role in your workplace, you care about the success of your business and your employees. In order for you to take your company from where it is today to where you want it to ultimately be in the future, you will want to pay close attention to these key leadership competencies that will lead your company and your team members to positive and profitable growth.   

Effective leaders… 

… Know their strengths and skill gaps.

Santa Clara University and the Tom Peters group identified a list of effective leadership qualities and characteristics and listed them in order of most important. 

Honest                                             Fair-minded

...

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How Good Deeds Can Affect Your Life

You just never know what impact your actions may have on someone else’s life... or yours. I have a favorite old story that illustrates this fact very well.

Late one night, back in the 1960’s, a man saw a woman standing on the side of the highway in the pouring rain. When he noticed her car was broken down, he decided to interrupt his own plans to stop and offer her a ride. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance towing her car and put her into a taxicab. Although she was clearly somewhat distressed and in a hurry, she thanked the man and took time to write down his address.

Now soaking wet and late, the man went on his way.

A week later the man received a large, unexpected package. It was a giant color TV, which was the latest and greatest technology at that time. The note attached to the package read: “Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes but also my spirits. Then you came along....

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Resolving a Bad Relationship at Work

The average full-time worker with two weeks of annual vacation spends up to 250 days or 2,000 hours each year on the job. Unfortunately, many employees spend this time interacting with co-workers they don't get along with, making their work situation almost intolerable.

If you have a problem with a co-worker and you're growing weary, don't despair. Although you can't guarantee cooperation from the other party, there are some practical things you can do in an effort to turn the relationship around. Review the tips below to see how you can confront bad work relationships.

  1. Take a good look at your own attitude and behavior first.

Before you complain or point a finger at your co-worker, take an honest look at how you might be contributing to the problem. Are you letting your feelings make you snappy, over-sensitive, jealous or uncooperative? Addressing your own negative attitude or behavior can often help decrease the distress brought on by the bad relationship and help...

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Are You Contented and Thankful?

I read a survey that revealed over half of all Americans would choose a new line of work if they had the chance. It’s amazing to think that every single day millions of people in our country spend their most productive hours at a job they wish they could change!

This statistic makes us ask the question, “WHY?” Is it because there are very few jobs that are truly satisfying and rewarding? Is it because they like the job but dislike the management or the people they work with? This is no doubt true in some cases because relationships on the job are such a big factor in how you feel about going to work each day.

But, I believe there is another important factor to consider: many people who are unhappy with their work are also discontented with other areas of their life as well. There are a lot of people who are living day to day with a general feeling of dissatisfaction in almost everything. Maybe you know someone who is never quite satisfied. Maybe you feel that way....

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Thriving in the "New Normal"

Most of us alive today have never been through anything like the Coronavirus Pandemic. We know that there have been other devastating illnesses in the past, but now it’s not just a page in a history book – now it’s personal! We are adjusting to unfamiliar, and often unwelcome, schedules and methods of doing what we used to take for granted in our everyday lives. “Normal” used to sound boring. Now it is our greatest desire.

Assuming that what we used to consider “normal” may be farther down the road, we come to a point in our lives when we realize we need to make the best of things as they are. This is particularly important if you are one of the many who are spending much more time at home, and especially if you live alone.

So, what can you do to infuse some “life” into existence during this time of increased isolation? Here are a few thoughts to get you started:

Put Your Imagination to Work

Albert Einstein said, ...

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Taming the Beast of Disorganization

Have you ever noticed that when you are disorganized life seems more chaotic and stressful? This experience often makes it difficult to know what to focus on or tackle first in an effort to regain a sense of calm and control. It’s frustrating to be late for work because you forgot an early meeting or to have to dig through a pile of papers to find the forms for a doctor appointment at the time you should be leaving the house. When I am disorganized, I find myself feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and off balance. The only way I can feel more settled and ready to face my day is by taming the Beast of Disorganization.

Here are two reasons why being organized helps you feel better:

It frees up time. Time is a very precious resource that can never be renewed. When you organize your mind and your physical surroundings you will be better equipped to identify what needs to get done and create a system to help you complete tasks efficiently. Having your life organized also helps to...

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