I spend a lot of time talking with clients and team members, and I get to know people quite well through these relationships. It is a great privilege that people trust me with their inner thoughts, dreams, aspirations, challenges, and insecurities. My role is to help them do more of the good stuff and figure out how to remove more of the less-than-ideal stuff.
Through my many decades, I have developed an appreciation for the importance of taking inventory of relationships. It may feel awkward, but it's necessary to ensure that you're investing time and energy into relationships that truly matter and make you a better individual or business.
With limited hours in a day and our lives, there is only so much for relationships. When you add, add, add to your life and try to do and be everything for others, you eventually become spread so thin that you don't see quality results from any of it.
So, yes, you should take inventory – to be at your best for yourself, your loved ones, and your business.
Some relationships can positively influence your life, some negatively, and some are relatively neutral. While you can’t control all relationships in your life, you do have some control over the time spent together and the influence you allow those relationships to have on you. I want to focus on the level of control we do have (however great or small) here.
Are you better for it?
We could evaluate many nuanced details about each relationship, but I prefer a straightforward approach. Ask yourself one critical question to get at the heart of the relationship. From there, you can decide if you should devote more or less time to each.
This evaluation works for both personal and business relationships, and both are necessary for being at our best and building our best companies.
“Does my relationship with this individual make me want to be or help me become a better person?”
Or from the business perspective:
“Does our relationship with this employee/partner/supplier/vendor enable or challenge us to become a better company for our clients to do business with?”
Your time and resources are valuable
At Q4i, we get really involved and personally invested with our clients. Their businesses and sometimes their personal lives become very important to us, and we take on a level of ownership to see people make progress on their aspirations.
When people commit and work hard to reach their goals, we are all in with them. These are relationships to invest in.
When our team members express interest in making career development investments and moves, we are all in with them. These are relationships to invest in.
My greatest joy is working with people and helping them realize their potential. It's extremely rewarding.
If it becomes evident that someone doesn't want to do the work and is more interested in hoping and praying that things work out, we lose interest. We can't want something more for someone than they do for themselves.
Relationships (where you have the choice to participate) should make you a better person or business. If not, evaluate what benefit the relationship is to either of you.
After going through this evaluation, you'll likely find it's justifiable to restructure how you spend your precious time and resources. You may need to fix things or just cut ties. It’s not always easy to do, but when you spend time in a way that makes you the best You, everyone around you benefits exponentially.
The time spent thinking through your relationships and taking potentially difficult action can clear your lines of thinking, free up time for people and things most important to you, and give you permission to only add when you know it’s a positive for everyone involved.
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