December 29, 2004
Eight ways to relate
Week after week, I provide responses to many kinds
of "integrity-centered" concerns and questions.
My answers intend always to apply tested and proven principles
that encourage constructive and productive actions. Integrity-centered
behaviors build strong connections, both personally and
professionally, reflecting the Bracher Center's Eight
Attributes: character, honesty, openness, authority,
partnership, performance, charity and graciousness.
As this year, 2004, comes to a close, may all of your
relationships be improved, even thrive, in 2005. My sincere
wish is that genuine friendships become the center of
all interpersonal, social, political and spiritual transactions.
Friends see the potential of their friends and cause
the best of what is possible to show, more often.
Let's make 2005 the year to thrive in and through various
legitimate relationships. To thrive in '05 may require
a few adjustments in cultivating, strengthening and sustaining
those all-important interactions making routine social
encounters into substantive connections, relationships,
even friendships. Try these eight:
- Transform superficial, even impersonal, interactions
by engaging with others.
- Be friendly, asking those who serve you food and
drink if they are having a good day.
- Do the same with friends and family. Maintain eye
contact and pay attention to their responses. This
lesson applies at home with spouses, children, parents
and family members. Yes, it applies in business settings
and community activities as well.
- Listen and offer encouragement to others, including
those often taken for granted such as ticket takers,
popcorn servers, carwash attendants, meter readers,
newspaper deliverers and a whole host of people we
see (or don't really see) almost every day. Stop talking,
reading, writing, and being busy, and acknowledge their
presence and then simply listen.
- Initiate contacts, personally, using phone calls,
e-mail, cards for multiple occasions, handwritten notes
of appreciation and encouragement -- and be gracious
even when your own efforts to "connect" with
others are ignored or appear to be undervalued.
- Treasure the positive responses of others who are
transformed by revitalized integrity-centered relationships.
- Celebrate friendships and thrive in 2005! Integrity-centered
relationships, in addition to making life in general
go better, can be good for business as well. People
like to be around people they like, personally and
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