Integrity Matters
December 29, 2004

Eight ways to relate

Question: (E-161)

Dear Readers:

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 professionally. So...
  • Smile.

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