Margaret Thatcher summed up the importance of quality communications best when she said, “Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become your character. And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” What we think we become. How we communicate becomes how we live. We practice skills we want to improve. We exercise our bodies to improve appeal and performance. We believe in being proactive when it comes to our physical health and maintenance of investments we want to protect such as our homes and cars. How is that we don’t have better systems for our thoughts? We allow our minds to be distracted, overloaded and drained. Some neuroscientists believe our brains were not designed to handle the amount of information we are currently processing. Other studies show multitasking has been linked to shutting down the area in our brain that deals with empathy. Every day, we are pulled in so many different directions leaving little time to practice relating with each other. To progress our success with each other we must make time for quality relating.
Take a moment to think about the people in your life. Who do you learn from? Who brings you joy? Who makes all things better? Who are the people in your life that you are helping to make their lives better? Make a commitment to add people to the list and make time for them. There should always be a list of people in your life that you are never too busy for. If saying, “I am too busy,” is the norm for you it is likely that the design of your life would benefit from productivity modifications.
Practice conversation and positive relational habits. A good place to start is with Harville Hendrix’s process of structured dialog. (Click here to see our interview with Harville outlining the process)
Make time for conversation with people you don’t know very well. Ask questions. Focus on being interested over being interesting.
Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix