If I Knew Then What I Know Now
I was recently thinking about the concept of success.
I am not referencing the kind of success defined by how many material things you have acquired, the balance of your bank account, the number of diploma’s on the wall, or degree’s behind your name.
The question that came to mind was what has to happen for someone to feel they are having a successful relationship with you. This may include your relationship with a customer, the relationship of a doctor and patient, or relationships with your family, spouse, or other loved ones.
I was once told that a patient will tell you what is wrong with them if you just take the time to listen.
The concept of listening can be invaluable in determining the direction our lives may take.
What do people really need to consider their time with you a success?
I suspect the responses could fill many pages if a poll was taken. Everyone may have multiple points that they consider vital for a relationship of any kind to florish.
In my opinion the most critical steps anyone must take to make a relationship a success can be reduced to the following four points:
1. Listen-pay attention to what the other person is telling you. Don’t just hear them, listen to what they are really saying. We should spend most of our time with another just listening. Only then do you have the permission to give your opinion about the issues presented.
God gave us the gift of two ears and a mouth so use them appropriately. Take the time to crawl into someone else’s world and find out what makes them who they are.
2. Compassion- show a sincere interest in anothers problems, desires, wants, and needs. Let them know you care and have their best interest at heart. Give them confidence that you will do what you can to help them achieve what they want or relieve their suffering.
3. Empathy- take the time to listen and understand where the other person is coming from. Why they feel the way they do. What has happened in their life that created the thoughts and idea’s that make them who they are, today. What trials and tribulations have influenced how this person responds to different situations.
4. Trust- if you want to have the optimal relationship, of any kind, you have to develop trust. The other individual involved needs to feel secure in revealing themselves to you. This all starts with just listening, understanding their situation and demonstrating a sincere interest in helping them find a solution to their problems or obtaining something they desire.
Let the other person know they are safe with you and nothing will come between you. That you are a team and together you will find a solution to their problems and concerns.
Some conversations with others are filled with conflict and quickly spiral out of control. If you find someone is attacking you for what you say or stand for it is time to take a deeper look at what is creating the hostility. Frequently hostility arises out of poorly understood intentions.
They may not feel you have their best interest at heart.
You need to find out what the deeper commitment is that is driving this person to push you. If you take the time to stop and say “I think I am not understanding where you are coming from or why you feel the way you do” it will give them the oppurtunity to explain. Finding common commitments will make you both more at ease and allow you to ressolve differences and move forward. This will result in a more productive and rewarding relationship.
Most conflicts in life and relationships arise out of someone having unfullfilled expectations, unressolved intentions, or undelivered communication with another.
Get your cards out on the table. Let people know up front what they can and cannot expect from you.
If you want to move forward in your own life, keep the debri cleared out of your way.
If you have something on your mind or someone has done something that is eating at you bring it up to the one involved.
Let them know you want to get this out in the open, and all you want them to do is listen. This will help you clear your mind and allow you to continue moving forward with a more rewarding life.
If you do nothing else, do the following:
Show compassion, be generous
Understand to be understood
Crawl into their world
Find anothers commitment to words, recognize common commitments
Build trust one conversation at a time
If you make these steps a part of you daily life, in dealing with others, you will change the outcome and quality of your life.
Starting today, listen to what another is try to tell you, take the time to understand, offer to help find a solution, and build trust.
Follow the above with all of your heart and people will do anything they can for you.
You have to give something before you can expect anything in return.
Then you will never have to say……….if only I knew then.