Success Academy – Fixing Relationships
Blog Success Academy
Bryan J. Jacop
April 4, 2014
Fixing relationships. As we go through our professional and personal lives inevitably, we come across relationships that we allow to be damaged and that cause us stress. Whether it’s a colleague at work, or an acquaintance in our personal lives, there is a relationship that doesn’t work, as we would like it too.
Take an objective look at these relationships and decide what you can do. I’ve talked about this previously in my post about apologies, but let me repeat it here briefly; we are always responsible for 50% of every relationship we are in, regardless of the actions of the other person.
I described how apologies help lead to better relationships, but let me walk you through the process.
- Apologize and be sincere. Take full responsibility for your actions and what you did that might have contributed to the relationship. This might look like: “Hi John, I realize in the past our relationship is not as professional as it could have been, and I apologize. I’m going to do my best to improve that moving forward.
- Communicate their way. We know that people have radically different conversation styles. Some people are incredibly direct and send one word emails. Some like to write three or four paragraphs on personal and random information. Make an effort to communicate in a fashion that they appreciate. This will demonstrate that you are willing to make things work.
- Make their life easier – do the small things that will help them out. If they are in a time crunch and you have some spare time, offer to help them out. Share an article or blog post that they might find interesting or helpful.
- Keep working at it – Fixing a relationship is not something that will happen overnight. And it won’t be done in a month either. Commit to doing this for 6-9 months. Professionally, your colleagues will see that you are taking the high road, and that you value healthy working relationships. On a personal level, you’ll be a generous person, and people gravitate towards others that are generous and genuine.
When it comes to fixing relationships, be genuine and be generous. Your relationships are going to be the things that get you through the tough times, both personally and professionally.
Now for the important caveat, if the relationship hasn’t improved after about 9 months, it is time for you to walk away from it. You cannot change anyone, and you should not set yourself up to be anyone’s punching bag, and you should never fight to stay in a toxic relationship.
Here’s to your success.