Great relationships are vital to our success but not in the strategic sense of ‘who you know’. Relationships apply to all the people you interact with on a regular basis.
Strong relationships need to be nurtured if they’re to become a key factor in our success. Here are seven powerful habits that will dramatically improve and grow your relationships.
1. Remember the things that matter
People have things in their lives that they’re proud of and that hold particular value for them. Your first step is to pick up on these things and remember them, such as special achievements.
Bring these things up when the opportunity arises. They tell the other person that you genuinely care enough to remember the things they care about. They’ll feel flattered and appreciated and will make the effort to remember what matters to you as well.
2. Learn to listen
We’ve all had conversations with inattentive listeners and know how frustrating that can be. This is the person who nods absently while looking around the room. They’re the person who sits fiddling with their phone rather than giving you their full attention. How does it make you feel? Most people find it offensive and rude.
We all want to be heard and understood! So, the next relationship-fostering habit is learning to listen. Give the other person your full attention and make frequent eye contact. Always focus on the person and nothing else. Sit as still and as composed as possible and let your one goal be to really listen.
More importantly, don’t allow your mind to race ahead to think of what you’re going to say. Simply process what you’re hearing. If you’re listening attentively, the right thing will come to you when it’s your turn to speak.
3. Ask pertinent questions
Asking pertinent questions tells the other person that you’ve heard and understood them. Now, you want to dig deeper and find out more about the issue or topic you’re discussing.
This earns you extra points because it shows that you’re genuinely interested in learning more. Always precede your question with a brief sum-up of what the other person said.
4. Express your emotions
Learn to express your emotions and share your feelings. This makes others feel trusted and valued, two key pillars of strong relationships.
Be generous in expressing your appreciation to your family and friends. Open up to friends about specific fears or worries you may have, and you will find amazing support and reassurance. They’ll also open up and share their own personal fears and worries, which will increase bonding and trust.
Even if your emotions are less than positive, expressing them in a calm, measured manner will gain you respect for your honesty.
5. Be Positive
Nobody likes being around the bitter cynic who finds something wrong with everything. People naturally gravitate towards a person who exudes positivity and optimism because these traits are contagious.
When you radiate calm positivity, you come across as self-confident, in control and just plain fun to be around! The way to develop this habit is to look for the positive in everything and to practice gratitude for all that you have.
Positivity breeds more positivity and will wear off on the people you interact with, creating a strong circle of people who love being around you and around each other.
6. Be genuine
Never try to improve a relationship by faking it. Sincerity can also be sensed by others straight away and is a key relationship booster.
When giving a compliment or offering help or advice, do so because you genuinely want to. Otherwise, don’t. Always try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes in order to have genuine empathy.
7. Be trustworthy
Never lie, gossip or divulge information that was told to you in confidence. More importantly, never compromise your personal ethics and beliefs. All of these things will come together to build unshakeable trust with the people in your life.
Building a reputation as a trustworthy person with strong ethics and values demonstrates to others that you’re dependent and responsible. When others know that they can trust you implicitly, your relationships on every level will soar.
Whatever your personal success looks like for you, you can be sure that strong, lasting relationships will help you achieve it.
These powerful habits will empower you to grow healthier relationships that will bring you happiness and fulfillment as well as success.
What’s more, these habits are a great foundation for building and nurturing new relationships that will last a lifetime.