Anyone reading this who knows me personally likely saw that title and wondered if someone had hijacked my computer! Being incredibly fast-paced and task-oriented, I don’t get mushy very often… Hang with me though because I’m about to share something that I’ve seen make a significant impact in building relationship every area of my life!
Since starting this column in late 2019, I’ve shared ideas ranging from recognizing and understanding communication styles, principles and practices for effective communication, and practical steps you can take to develop a higher level of emotional intelligence. While I believe every single one of those things, when applied consistently, can make a powerful difference on their own, I also believe that they have a tremendous compounding effect when used in tandem! And when we practice any one of them long enough to create a habit, it becomes a part of who we are rather than just what we do. But I don’t think that’s where it stops.
Any time we invest (and I’m using the word invest very intentionally here) the time and energy into communicating more effectively with the people we care about – whether it’s our family, our friends, or our coworkers – we can expect to see a positive return on that investment. When my writing or training is geared at a business environment, I often reference studies showing the specific increases in productivity and profitability that are direct results of better communication and stronger relationships. Since this column is focused more on building stronger communication with our families or friends, I’ll skip my usual capitalistic references to increased revenue and larger profit margins. That said, I still think we can achieve a very measurable return on our investment into smoother communication with even friends and family. Those relationships are every bit as valuable (or more so) than a business relationship so it’s kind of foolish to overlook the ROI.
In The Law of Connection, chapter 10 of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John Maxwell open by saying that “leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand.” Before you brush me off here for inserting leadership or forcing business down your throat, I’d challenge you to really think about who’s leading your family… And who’s accepting responsibility for creating (or even maintaining) great relationships with your friends? If the answer to either of those questions isn’t US, can we expect to have good relationships? If we accept that responsibility, which is indeed leading, the investments we make into those relationships through effective communication shows the value we place on the people in our lives – and the connections we develop in the process create the heart strings that yield stronger, long-term relationships that stand the test of time!
Next time, we’ll dig deeper into The Law of Connection to see how we can make sure it’s part of everything we do!