When Did life become “All about me”?

Relationships are fraught with difficulties and business is exceptionally hard when we reverse the roles.

Having read a recent article on a study of relationships and why people felt insecure it became apparent that the first word use in every interview was “I”. “We” often came from a negative place which normally swept through an idea that the other person just wasn’t engaged.

Shallow relationships

A shallow relationship focuses on the needs of an individual rather than investment of both partners.

Having worked as a mediator one of the critical factors in recovering a relationship had to be establish the depth of the link. In many cases it was surface only or at best you scrape back the surface and find a shallow interest in the other party.

The first thing that is missing: Respect on two levels for the other person and their needs and secondly self respect. Sell out your own needs for immediate satisfaction is nothing short of prostitution; in life and business.

In Business

Many of the disputes I mediated in business were linked to just not listening and not communicating. Someone hadn’t heard this or that, and the other hadn’t read something. Demands became needs because emotions were engaged at the uncontrolled level as there was a perception that the other party had trampled on their rights.

A Simple Solution

Three stages in relationship development:

  1. Listen
  2. Engage
  3. Commit

Listening is more than hearing words it demands that we really get to know the needs and aspirations of the other person or business. For example a sales person contacts me through a cold call, his need is target driven but what he wants to do is jump to the second stage as quickly as possible.

We have to learn to stall the process, slow it down and get to the mutual benefits and then explore the cost (more than financial).

In life I am always confused by the people who jump into bed with each other and are driven by physical attraction and then expect to form a lasting bond. It was responding to their physical desire that drew them together, so unless you are the most beautiful person on the planet it is unlikely that the person will not be attracted to another person.

After all it was all about self and instant gratification.

Repeat contact

The key to relationship building is look beyond the first encounter and think in the long-term. Lay your foundation today for a lasting relationship.

Build it on respect, show that respect by first listening effectively and this informs the decisions you make.

A relationship is always “our relationship” if we individualise it we are promoting our interests over the other persons and that is a recipe for failure.

Thanks for reading



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