Welcome back to our series where we are talking about how we achieve a good rate of return on our investments outside of invested cash. We are exploring the idea that where our money goes in and of itself is not really the indicator of what our future is going to look like.
Our priorities and choices in every part of our life are a factor.
In part 3, we’re talking about ROR or Return on Relationships. Are you a strategic in your relationships? Remember that being strategic is simply beginning with the end in mind. We all have relationships. It’s our perspective about their value and our respective roles in them where we begin to understand the idea of return when it comes to relationships.
Here are five things to consider for investing in relationships will give you your greatest return in your life and work:
#1–Just as with learning, the first way to be certain you are getting a maximum return is to honestly assess whether or not you are investing in your relationships. We should always check in on ourselves first and be certain that we are doing our part. Consider who is on your calendar more than what.
#2- The second place we need to check in is with our intention. What is the purpose of the relationship? Are you clear about that? Is the other party clear about it as well? Clarity in relationships is crucial. So many times we are not getting what we need because we aren’t being clear about that with ourselves and the other person or people. This is most often where dissatisfaction begins, a lack of communication around our mutual needs.
#3- Next is reciprocity. This is not about keeping score. It’s about balance, harmony, give and take. What does the other person need from you? Are you actively engaged in meeting their needs? As Ralph Waldo Emerson stated: “It is one of the most beautiful compensations in life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”
#4- That brings us to what I call the “E” factor: Emotional and Energy returns. How do you feel about yourself in the relationship? How does the other person feel? Is your energy lifted or drained?
#5- The final point is the horizon check: what’s changing for you? For them? What does that make possible for you and your relationship? What is going to change and what is the impact of those changes? What needs to shift in the relationship for it to hold and increase its value through those changes? All of us go through transitions in our lives. Sometimes that is a natural course of changing seasons. Other times it comes from decisions about our work. The key is placing a value on core relationships within those changes.
Remember that we are not meant to stay where we are. We are meant to grow. As Charlie Tremendous Jones taught – where we are in five years compared to where we are now is going to be determined by the books we read and the people we meet. Those people are meant to bring influence and to also provide us with the opportunity to influence in kind.
What makes these particular ideas valuable is that no matter what relationship we’re talking about, the same principles apply.
Whether it is our relationships within our family, with friends, colleagues or customers – we need to honestly review our own investment, intentions, balance, energy responses and commitment to value them.
When we follow these guidelines, we know that the investments we make in others and our relationship with them is going to give both of us the highest possible return – a positive sense of self, who we are and our value in the world because we are creating a high value for each other.
Live (invest) today like you want tomorrow to be. Live (invest) well.