A well-known strategy for improving a particular area of your life where things don’t seem to be going well is to look at an area of your life where things are actually working for you. Maybe there is a way to apply what works for you in let’s say your career to your personal life. Even if things are going well for you, you can find ways to make them even better. I recently had the pleasure to take note of how well my professional relationships are going and plan to apply what I noticed works well to family and friendships who I naturally love but might not always get along with as well as I’d like.
More specifically, I had two opportunities to spend time with some co-workers in a personal setting. In one case, it was two current co-workers and in another, it was a former co-worker. In both situations, I realized how easy it was to “be with” them. In fact, it’s always pretty easy to “be with” them – at work too. I am and was always grateful for this fact, but in this personal setting, it was pronounced how everything seems to flow when we interact and how we can accomplish something almost effortlessly. In the first case, it was as simple as making a meal together. I sometimes have a hard time cooking with others in my kitchen when I try to focus on the details of making a recipe while being social. In this case, we all worked together, set up stations and made a delicious meal come to life. It made me question how we were being with each other or what was it that we did to make the experience “successful” and enjoyable.
Some obvious responses are that we respect each other – similarities and differences (always), we asked for help (i.e., otherwise known as delegated tasks if we’re at work), we took charge when appropriate and necessary, said what we wanted without another agenda, and we also offered help when we saw someone else was in need without judging why they needed the help – we just jumped in (like we would on a project). I’m sure many of you already practice this behavior and exhibit these qualities with family and friends. But sometimes, I know (for myself) that I can’t help but let history or outside circumstances impact how I interact with loved ones.
So, these recent instances were eye-opening in that I knew we work well together, but it wasn’t until we were outside of our work environment that I realized that we have developed strong relationship skills that help us work well as a team and have a lot of fun while we’re together – regardless of what we’re doing. What if you take a look at an area of your life that is working well for you and see what makes it thrive? If you’re having a hard time identifying what makes it work, try to take an element out of its natural surroundings like I did and see what you notice. Then apply those learnings to an area of your life you’d like to improve. Would love to know what you notice. Good luck!