One of my constant challenges is to organize myself. To create a system where everything I need to get done, is in one place for me to see. All of the needed attachments or information is within a click’s distance of my eye.
In trying to re-configure my steps (for the 100th time), I decided to write down every item that I need to complete on index cards. Only one item on each card. From emails, to phone messages, to projects that I am working on. Then trying to group cards based on common themes.
As I looked at the pile of cards that included requests, calls I need to make, analysis I need for presentations, emails I need to answer, I struggled for a bit as to what is their common theme. Relationship was the word that came to mind.
Why relationship? All of the cards involve another person. Either directly today or soon in the future. Each separate card was a challenge to invest my time and interest in furthering my relationship with someone else.
Yet in our busy lives, we never look at these things in this way. They are simply an email to answer. A form to fill out. Necessary to return a call. End of story for each. And so on…..
We typically use the word relationship to describe a committed friendship that has romantic overtones. What we miss is we create a relationship every time we interact with another person. In our personal lives as well as professionally. Even if it’s only for one time.
This is true whether you are a parent, friend, child, colleague, supplier, customer, subordinate, teacher, service provider, mentor, boss, or neighbor, There is a relationship between us at different points in time. Admittedly, some deeper than others. But still, every point of contact with another person creates a relationship.
There is much to gain by adding the word relationship into our day. To consider answering an email as furthering our relationship with others. Making the return phone call because it might strengthen our relationship. Showing our commitment in these created relationships by responding helps to create more trust.
There is a sense of responsibility inherent in the word relationship that is important for both parties. When we view all of these demands under the umbrella of relationship building, we automatically become more present and thoughtful with each point of contact.
Once we understand the responsibilites of relationships, we then begin to see how our behavior can change a relationship. Either positively or negatively for relationships are two sided and to a degree reciprocal. Both sides must participate for relationships to be built and thrive. Lack of interest from one party can easily destroy a relationship as well.
Too many of us pick and choose when we act as if a relationship is important to us. Friendship or family is the most common. Everyone else is just work, emails, etc. Our lives can be so much more fulfilling & effective when we stop thinking this way by inserting the word relationship into our daily lives.
It’s a great way to improve the world around us. Once we embrace the responsibilites that come with a relationship, treating many items in our day this way becomes both easier and deeper. Making our next point of contact with an individual that much stronger.