Relationships3 (Part 1)
“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”
— C.G. Jung
The secret to developing great relationships is the ability to identify the nature of the relationship and the type of benefit each party derives from it. If you go into a relationship without a clear and mutual understanding of the type of relationship and the desired benefit, most likely no one in that relationship is going to be completely satisfied.
A girl is looking for love and determined to get it. A guy is looking for sex and is equally determined. One of them, if not both, is going to be very disappointed.
Two acquaintances go out for coffee after a social gathering. One is looking for friendship; the other for the opportunity to give a sales pitch. Here, there are two different motivations: one seeking friendship (an emotional relationship) and the other seeking a sale (a business relationship). Once again, someone, if not everyone, is going to be disappointed.
In the example above, the salesman was masquerading as someone looking for friendship. But in his mind, selling his product or business would indeed benefit his new acquaintance — at least that’s what his sales manager taught him to believe. Business relationships can indeed be beneficial to both. The problem, however, was that the individuals did not share a mutual understanding of why they were getting together for coffee. Often the most intensely negative feelings about sales techniques are reserved for people who try to initiate friendships with hidden agendas.
You can create these scenarios all day long. You can also think back to some unproductive business partnerships (both informal and formal) and view them in terms of the type of relationship and the expectations placed upon it. Were all parties in for the same reasons and with the same objectives in mind? In most cases, they were not. Understanding the dynamics of Relationship Momentum on the front end will save a lot of time, money, and emotional turmoil on the backend.
I simply do not have room in my life for one-way relationships. That doesn’t mean I am not interested in building friendships or charitable relationships. If I am helping someone pro bono, mentoring a recent college grad, or reading to at risk youth, I get tremendous benefit out of that — usually more than I give. As examined in the prior chapter, we are given certain gifts and created with certain needs. My charitable work is done with no expectation of a financial return, but the emotional return is priceless. I feel needed. I feel selfless. I feel joy. All of that comes from making a difference in another person’s life without any expectation of reciprocity. I am fulfilling one of the hardwired needs instilled in us by the Great Engineer.
I like the way Anthony Robbins put it when he said, “The only way a relationship will last is if you see that relationship as a place you go to give and not a place that you go to take.” I would add that the only way relationships will last is if both parties mutually benefit, that is, if the relationship is satisfies the needs of both parties. Productive relationships that create Momentum in your life have both a give and a take element.
What relationships are currently adding to your Momentum?
What relationships are creating a drag on Momentum?