Monday, August 3, 2009

Mastering Relationships

Part 6 of a continuing series on CEOing

In Part 3 of this series I asked:

• What if you suddenly realized that you are here to do something magnificent?

• What if you suddenly found out that you are actually here to change the world for the better in your life time?

Well here’s a flash, even if you knew, you couldn’t get past the first step without being able to build great relationships. And like everything human, great relationships can seem difficult to come by. Yet, they don’t have to be.

What if there was a Universal Formula for Creating Great Relationships?

Well, there is, and it works like this.

Establish Common Ground
There is an old saying, “Where there is no vision the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible) I believe this is true for individuals, relationships and groups. History has shown over and over again that relationships work best when parties perceive a meaningful reason for them to exist.

Great leaders and people with great relationships know that energy follows focus so they strive to create and maintain common ground. Their ever expanding conversations serve to grow and stretch each another and deepen their relationships. Great relationships are a gift, even the bumpy ones, because they cause us to question and examine our own thoughts and reactions to life. It’s been said that we are never angry or upset at another person, but rather, we are angry or upset with the disowned part of ourselves that we perceive in the other person.

Know What’s Expected
For those of you that are married and have kids, have you ever sat with your spouse and children to share your vision for your family? Within that context, have you had a discussion about expectations? What they expect of you and yes, what you expect of them? Perhaps if you began to view your family as a dynasty, one that’s committed to making a difference in the world, rather than simply survive it, that would help. As you begin to think about this you will naturally be faced with a critical question: do I seek to control them or engage them? Just be with the questions for now, we will discuss it more next month. Of course this can be done with your friends, staff and clients as well.

Know Where You Stand
The only way to know where you stand is to first know what’s expected, and then arrange a reoccurring time and place to get the appropriate feedback. My wife Frances and I for example, have a Friday night dinner ritual where we give our relationship a simple numerical rating of 1-10 based on five key areas. This way we are never far away from knowing where we stand. I’ve worked my way from unconscious knucklehead to best husband in the Universe using this technique. Believe me, it works.

Have the Courage to Engage
It takes a lot of courage to be able to ask someone else to give you feedback based upon how they feel, especially in the beginning. And that’s where the common ground comes in. Frances and I are committed to one another’s growth and development. This assures a safe space for expression and creates an eagerness to give and receive feedback about our behavior and beliefs.

Next month: To Control or Engage?

Copyright 2009 Thomas A. Voccola All rights reserved

Entrepreneur, speaker, author and CEO Coach, Tom Voccola is the CEO of CEO2, a Chief Executive Consulting Firm specializing in the rapid transformation of corporate and organizational cultures. Tom is the co-founder and past Chairman of the Los Angeles area CEO Round Table for the American Electronics Association, and the author of The Accidental CEO – A Leader’s Journey from Ego to Purpose. His life’s work is to inspire a new generation of leaders who transcend ego and its fear based agenda. His work gives executives immediate and authentic access to new levels of power, influence and freedom within their organizations.