Thursday, September 6, 2012

Build Positive Relationships

As a leader you are trying to build something - a vision, a business, a group - and it takes a lot of hard work.  Your Day Planner is chock full of appointments, To Do lists, and goals you are trying to accomplish.  You have people under you that you want to see achieve certain things in order to get your goals fulfilled.  However, with all of that constructing going on the most important thing you could build is a positive relationship with those under and around you.

Part of your job as a leader is to influence people, to motivate them to follow you down a course you have chosen.  You cannot do that without having a strong, caring relationship with them.  Now, while you can do this without going out for drinks or seeing a movie together and finding yourself in trouble with Human Resources, you cannot do it without communication.  In order to influence people, you must invest in their lives.  You will not be able to guide them if you know nothing about them.  Take the time to ask questions.  Find out something about them and their goals for their own future.  What is happening in their lives with family or friends?  Outside chaos can bring the drama to your plans and then distractions derail the vision.

If you take an interest in your people, they will take an interest in you.  People tend to help those who help them.  I know I’m that way.  While I like to help everyone, I tend to put more energy into helping those people reach their dreams who have invested time into mine.  Take the social media site, Twitter, for example.  As I reach out and help promote other people, the majority have taken a hand in getting my stuff out there, as well.  Soon everyone is helping each other and seeing things happen they couldn’t do as quickly, if at all, alone.  The same goes for those under you.  Show the people in your group - your employees, friends, family, group members - that you truly care about what’s important to them and soon they are going out of their way to assist in your vision as their leader.

One of the keys, however, is the word “positive.”  Get rid of the negative people in the varying areas of your life.  Negativity is a distraction to your dreams.  You need to build relationships that are going to encourage you to press on when you most feel like calling it quits.  Someone who is constantly filling the air with their negative thoughts is a time bomb waiting to bring your vision to ruin.  They are a hindrance not only to themselves, but to everyone around them. 

The girls and I use this philosophy in our lives.  We refuse to have someone in our life that only sees the glass half empty.  They worry about every nitpicking thing and see catastrophe around every corner.  They make Eeyore seem like an optimist and they don’t trust people to do anything but screw them over.  Such a mindset is a weight around the neck of productivity keeping everyone from a bright future of success.  Eradicate those people and instead blanket your life with the uplifting warmth of positive people.

It may seem that taking time out of your crammed Day Planner is a set back to your day’s schedule, but I assure you, in the long run the rewards will save you precious time.  Building positive relationships is an investment that will forever bring positive dividends.  Don’t waste time by ignoring those around you.  You’ll only hurt your vision.

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