A reflection on relationships

I’m writing this on the morning of my 30th wedding anniversary. I’m replete with emotion as I reflect on the journey my wife and I have experienced to date. The thing I keep coming back to and that which I’m extremely grateful for is the strength of our relationship. It’s the cornerstone of our marriage. This didn’t just happen organically.

At its core, a healthy relationship requires trust, good communication, empathy, respect, and giving of one’s self. It takes work – and plenty of it. This applies to both personal and professional relationships. A relationship is analogous to a garden. You till the soil, plant seeds, add fertilizer, pull weeds, and enjoy its bounty. We must invest the time to cultivate and care for our relationships in order for them to develop, thrive and have the strongest chance of surviving the inevitable ups and downs we face.

Just as we grow and change as individuals, so goes our relationships. Attempting to hold onto what was is the cause of great suffering. There was a time when I didn’t understand this and I tried desperately to fight change, unsuccessfully of course.

What’s important is that we recognize that building a solid, resilient and long-lasting relationship takes hard work, care, commitment, patience, acceptance, and maintenance.

I was honored to have Scott Miller, EVP of Thought Leadership at FranklinCovey, on my show recently and he spoke about the need for leaders today to check in, not check on. He’s absolutely right. It’s a subtle, yet powerful shift. How are you doing? How is your family? What’s worrying you today? What’s exciting you today? How can I help you?

These are questions we should be asking with sincerity. There is no better time than right now. Here’s your call to action. Look through your connections and check in with those you haven’t reached out to in a while. You’ll be amazed with the responses you receive and you’ll build deeper, more meaningful relationships. This is what cultivating and caring are all about.