To trust, look in the mirror…

“Trust is earned in the smallest of moments. It is earned not through heroic deeds, or even highly visible actions, but through paying attention, listening, and gestures of genuine care and connection.”

Brene Brown

Trust is a gift. If you want to give that gift to others, and have them trust you in turn, you must first pay attention to oneself. Are you showing genuine care and connection for others? Are you listening? Are you paying attention? Are you looking for reasons to trust someone, or reasons not to trust?

Trust is a mirror and you can only see one thing when you look in the mirror. Yourself…

Take great care of your garden…

“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.“

Epictetus

Who are the people in your life that make you better? Who are the ones that drive and push you to be better than you would or could on your own? Do you intentionally create and foster these relationships? Do you seek out people that uplift you and prune out of your life those that hold you back?

Life is all about the relationships that we have with other people. We will be a product of the time we spend with them and they will have great influence over our actions and choices.

Think of the relationships you have as a well-designed garden. In order to maximize the beauty one must cultivate and care for the plants with great diligence. This means planting new ones and removing or pruning out the dead or dying plants. Are there certain relationships you need to nurture? How about pruning? Are there any you need to remove all together?

Truly interested…

“If you are able to figure out how to be truly interested in someone you meet, with the goal of building up a friendship instead of trying to get something out of that person, the funny thing is that almost always, something happens later down the line that ends up benefiting either your business or yourself personally. Stop trying to ‘network’ in the traditional business sense, and instead just try to build up the number and depth of your friendships, where the friendship itself is its own reward.”

Tony Hsieh

It is amazing what can happen when you put serving others first and yourself second. Putting another persons wants, needs, and interests first on your priority list can completely shift the dynamic of the relationship. How does it make you feel when a person treats you in this way? You want to do more for them in return. The dynamic changes from being one that is transactional to one that is relational. And isn’t that what life is all about?

Help me, help you…

“I believe that you can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

Zig Ziglar

What percentage of your time do you spend seeking to understand and help other people with their challenges? How does this compare to the time spent on yourself and your challenges? When I think about these questions I am pretty convicted. I know I don’t spend as much time as I should seeking to help others get what they want. It isn’t that I don’t want to, not at all, I just need to be more intentional with my efforts and energy.

How do you keep a focus on helping others front and center? What are the right questions to think about as you enter any conversation or relationship? Here are a few that I am going to start using at the beginning and ending of each day as framing questions to ensure that I am focused on helping and serving others.

  • Start of the day: Who can I intentionally seek to help achieve something they want today? What questions do I need to ask in my conversations to ensure I am focused on helping others?
  • End of the day: Who did I help today? What did they want or need that I was able to assist with? What did I hear or see that creates an opportunity for me to help someone achieve their goals?

Relationships + Trust = Results

“Strong relationships are the foundation of great results.”

Dan Rockwell

The most successful relationships are based on mutual trust and respect. When you have this the outcomes can be simply incredible. But it takes intentional work to build good relationships. At times it might feel like that this work is counter to driving results, that the effort and energy is being misused instead of being put directly towards achieving your desired outcomes. But this is short sighted and conveys a lack of humility and a servant leader ethos.

Putting forth the energy to build strong relationships, and to truly know and understand those that you work and live with, is the key to driving great results in the future. When relationships are strong there is a high degree of trust and with trust comes the ability to create alignment and focus on what is really important. Without trust, there is no relationship.

Who are the most important people you should be investing in right now to build stronger relationships? How much time do you spend seeking to understand the goals of others so you can help them achieve their great results? What results are you seeking to achieve together? What is the one thing you can do today that is focused on strengthening a key relationship in your life?

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