Building Better Relationships


They are the most valuable asset to your business and undoubtedly the most complicated.

People have the power to hurt, help, heal, hinder, drive results, and hold things back. 

They are, at the very same time, our greatest source of joy AND our most frustrating bottleneck!!

Think for a minute about how much time can be wasted dealing with hard relationships – or simply just hitting a bump with the good ones. The stories and assumptions we make up. The negative narratives we entertain on repeat. 

The impact of having relational stress is BIG. 

What if you could do the “people” part of your work and life better? 

What would be possible if you had better tools to make navigating relational bumps easier? 

Maybe you feel like you’re winning here. 

You have an amazing team with high IQ, EQ, and the ability to gel and get things done.” On a scale of 1-10, you might give yourself an 8 or a 9.

Or maybe you feel more like a 2-3 right now. Whether it’s a toxic person, a lack of team synergy, or the inability to make progress, you’re struggling relationally to get someone or something where it needs to be. 

Regardless of which camp you find yourself in, this conversation is for BOTH sides and here’s why: 

When things ARE going well, it’s easy to lose track of why that’s so. We have a tendency to take our eye off the ball and let the game play out without much intention. We forget to focus on what’s creating the win and inevitably things begin to slip as business and people naturally evolve. 

When things are NOT going well, it’s easy to get stuck and start spinning. It may also be the time you feel most motivated to find a solution.

We’re given a lot of tools growing up as we learn to get better at school and work…how to get things done, how to be responsible, and how to get along with people. 

The getting-along-with-people part has historically focused on creating harmony, however, I don’t remember gaining great tools around problem-solving and critical conversations. I often resorted to people pleasing which ultimately led to the judgment of both myself and others for not knowing how to communicate my needs or vision. 

Using the wrong tools in relationships can be a recipe for resentment, regret, and lack of movement, so what can we do about it?

The reality is – there’s no playbook for people.

There are, however, some simple tools that make navigating relationships easier. Big note – none of them involve changing the other person. 

Here are FIVE things that work when you’re game for changing YOU and the way you approach your bumps with other people:

  1. Practice curiosity. I can’t say this enough. When you bring a posture of curiosity to your life, it’s impossible to be in judgment mode. When you’re genuinely curious, that means you’re learning, and this is the quickest way to break down barriers with people and work. 
  2. Know your triggers. With a little self awareness and reflection, you can quickly identify the people and moments that hijack you and cause you to come from an unproductive place. 
  3. Respond vs React. This is such a huge distinction. Hitting the pause button to keep your emotions in check BEFORE you take action can be the difference between creating connection and solving your biggest problem. 
  4. Know your audience. Stop spending all of your time on your agenda and your competencies and start doing your homework on the people you’re working with. Understanding what makes people tick and what they respond to is critical to problem-solving in both your work and life.
  5. Stay solution-focused. Start focusing on the solution more than the problem. I love the way Ed Mylett poses this distinction: “Problems need energy to live. The more energy you give something, the more it expands. Pour your energy into the SOLUTION.” Let’s grow more of that part in our lives

As a leader, I know you’re intentional about a lot of things in your life, AND I bet you measure them because what’s measured matters.  

How often do you measure your relationships? 

Decide what it looks like to make this part matter and watch the solutions outgrow your problems.