Navigate Your Way Through Relationships

“Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” — Stephen Covey

I remember a short story with a beautiful message on relationships.

A little girl and her father were crossing a bridge. Father was kind of scared so he asked his little daughter, "Sweetheart, please hold my hand so that you don’t fall into the river."

The little girl said, "No, Dad. You hold my hand."

"What’s the difference?" asked the puzzled father.

"There’s a big difference," replied the little girl.

"If I hold your hand and something happens to me, chances are that I may let your hand go. But if you hold my hand, I know for sure that no matter what happens, you will never let my hand go."

In any relationship, the essence of trust is not in its bind, but in its bond.

Holding hands is not only about taking care, it's also about trust and love you have for that person. It's about relationships.

Like in the story above, holding hands is not just about taking care; it also reflects the amount of trust you place on someone. Relationships are built on this trust. This is true both in our professional and personal life.

The Fourth Ingredient to Success

"I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things." — Mother Teresa

Adam Grant, in his book Give & Take, says that "to be successful, we need a combination of hard work, talent, luck and how we approach our interactions with others." The fourth ingredient, which is our interaction with others, is often the most neglected according to him.

During my career, I recollect working with a very high-performing team. Every individual in the team had a common goal, would support and respect each other, and would always be willing to help each other meet their goals. There was a high sense of camaraderie. They cared about each other. This team therefore performed and met challenges without causing any disruption. Collectively, they met even the toughest of goals. They had deep trust in each other and their common purpose.

But when I moved to another organization, I noticed something different. For the same type of projects, the results were different in the new organization as compared to those in my old organization. Even though the people on my new team were all skilled and excellent at their work, they rarely collaborated with each other. The only interaction they had was during team meetings. They believed in competing with each other. The performance as a team always took a beating. They could never crack the toughest of challenges and would always blame each other for their failure. There was zero trust in their collective capabilities.

Top-performing teams spend time investing in relationships, and collaboratively developing and refining their mission, purpose, and challenges.

Navigate Your Way Through Relationships

“Little kindness and courtesies are so important. In relationships, the little things are the big things.” — Stephen Covey

Here are three tips to navigate your way through all relationships, both in your professional and in your personal life.

  • The most common behavior that can hold people back from success is a desire to win always at any cost. In personal life and also at work, the "desire-to-win-always" attitude can prevent you from building meaningful relationships. In the office, you will make it a place of competitive hustlers. So avoid it.
  • Improve communications by having more conversations and dialogues that help to build relationships. With more conversations and clear dialogues, we develop a closeness and there is very little room left for creating any kind of uncertainty. It builds trust.
  • Don’t try to demean your colleagues at work or your friends at home. Provide help and encouragement, and you get the same in return when you need it. In every relationship, there is always a give and take. It helps to invest in each other and develop reciprocity.