By Mary Eniolu | 03 August 2022
The quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives. Our happiness, well-being, fulfilment, success or failure in business or career are all dependent on our relationships. Teddy Roosevelt sums it up nicely when he says, “The single most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” In this article, I share 4 tips that will enrich your relationships and help you get along with anybody!
Why are relationships so important? The answer is simple, because we are all salespeople. Whatever field you are in, and whatever your job or business. Whether you are employed, self-employed or retired, every day, we are all trying to sell something to someone. It could be an idea, a concept, a product, a service, a vision.
As a parent you could be trying to sell the benefits of a university education to your child, or one holiday destination over the other. As CEO, you may want to sell your vision for your business or non-profit to your employees. As a business owner, of course, your product or service to a prospect. Whatever the object, we are always trying to sell something to someone and as the saying goes – people buy from people!
Consider this question. Have you ever found yourself in a position where you needed help, perhaps assistance from someone at work, or maybe in your personal life, and you knew someone who could assist you with the problem, but you were very reluctant to ask them? In fact, you ended up not asking them because you did not like them. I bet you are nodding right now and saying yes, I’ve been there. You end up losing out because you just could not bring yourself to ask them for help, even though you knew they could have helped you. This is how important relationships are!
I am not talking about liking everybody, or getting everybody to like you. However in a world where personal, professional and business success is increasingly dependent upon collaboration, it is not enough to know how to get along with like-minded people, but we must also learn to get along with and work with people that are not like us. So here are four tips that if you truly embrace them and start to put them into practice, will help you get along with just anybody!
1. Value People More Than Opinions
Truly value people. I say truly because sometimes we act like we value people because of what we want to get from them. We see that all the time, where companies pay lip service to the notion of people first, but when the rubber hits the road, we see these same companies making choices that in no way reflects the value of “people first”. Don’t just value people because of what you think you can get from them, but truly value people simply because they are people. They are humans just like you and they deserve to be valued.
Value people more than opinions. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I have seen people fall out with each other because of differing opinions. The fact that someone has a different opinion to you does not necessarily make them a bad person and you a good person, they just have a different opinion and guess what, that opinion could change tomorrow. So why would you jeopardise the chances of developing what could end up being a really great relationship with someone just because they have a different opinion to you today? Tomorrow, they could become more enlightened, their level of awareness could have been raised and they could change their opinion and if you’ve cut them off because of the opinion they held yesterday you miss out on what that relationship could have brought you, so value people more than opinions.
2. Put Energy Into Being Likeable
You may know some people that are just naturally likeable. You meet them for the very first time and they just have this vibe, this energy about them and you just love being with them. I have met people like that as well. I however also know people who you might not necessarily get attracted to, instantly, and I don’t mean in a sexual way, but there are some people you meet, that you don’t instantly get drawn to. However, when you do get to know them you, find that they are really nice, really lovely. I am sure you know people like that as well.
Now here is the thing, first impressions really do matter and as it is true that you don’t get a second opportunity to make a great first impression. So, what if I never get the opportunity to really get to know you, to find out that you are really a nice person after all? When I share this tip with people, I would often have someone say “but I need to be myself” I am not asking you not to be yourself, I am asking you to be more intentional in how you present yourself. So, if for example you are naturally a blunt “say it as it is” kind of person, put energy into finding means of still being honest and truthful, without being annoying. Put energy into being likeable. You will find that life is so much easier when people like you.
3. Follow The Golden Rule
What is the Golden Rule? Do to others what you would have them do to you. Just think
about how much more wonderful and pleasant and how much happier we would all be, if everyone really embraced and practiced this golden rule? It is tempting to want to retaliate when people treat us bad, and to act in the same way towards them. You disrespect me, I disrespect you back. Someone cheats me, I cheat the next person I come across, but in the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world”
When you allow others to dictate how you live your life, you give them your power. When you are mean to others because someone was mean to you, or you bully others because someone bullied you, you allow them to control your life. Take back your power, break the circle and say, “No it ends here with me”! Irrespective of the maybe unpleasant experiences you have had, you determine I will treat others not necessarily as I have been treated, but how I want to be treated. I will respect others because I want to be respected. I will value others because I want to be valued. I will be kind to others because I want to be shown kindness.
4. Follow The 101 Principle
What is the 101 principle? According to John C. Maxwell, this is when you find out the one thing you have in common with the people you are dealing with and give it 100% of your energy. Most of us do the opposite. We focus all our energy on the one thing we don’t have in common and put all our energy into that one thing and we end up saying we don’t have anything in common. Listen you have something in common with every single person in this world. For starters you’re both human beings! So, find that one thing you have in common and put a 100% of your energy into that. Find common ground and start from there and you’ll be amazed at where the relationship goes with time if you would just focus on what you have in common rather than focusing on the differences.
I challenge you to embrace these four Relationship Rules and start to practice them, not just with people you like, but with everyone in your life and you will be amazed at the transformation that will start to take place in your relationships. You are where you are today largely because of the relationships you’ve had in the past and you will be tomorrow where the relationships you form today will influence and take you, so be intentional about your relationships because they will make or break you.
If you would like to find out more about how to build strong, meaningful, long-lasting relationships that enrich your life, check out our connect and relate workshop.
Credit to John C. Maxwell
I hope you have found this blog helpful. Please feel free to leave your comments. I would very much love to hear from you.
Mary Eniolu – Speaker, Trainer, and Coach
Mary is a solicitor and professional speaker, trainer, and coach. She is the founder of Can Do Academy, a training and development company offering Institute of Leadership and Management approved and CPD accredited training and coaching solutions to individuals and organizations, helping them to achieve peak performance and desired outcomes.
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