- Relationships matter. Being connected is important for our overall happiness and well-being.
- There are foundational 3 mindset shifts that will help you build better relationships: (1) See relationships as gifts. (2) The relationship you have with yourself is also a gift. (3) Treat every interaction as an opportunity to improve your connection as building blocks.
- We can cultivate our joy and in others by being intentional with our interactions.
- Take the first action step to set a goal to build better relationships.
Relationships, relationships, relationships. It’s all about relationships. We hear it often and by many leaders in education. We know the great impact relationships have and how important they are in our personal and professional lives.
What makes them so important? It’s a basic human need. We NEED relationships and we NEED connection. We are wired for connection. People are a source of reciprocal support. They offer us an opportunity to give of ourselves and receive of others. Strong and healthy relationships contribute to our happiness, positivity, feeling of self-worth, and overall well-being. Such a wonderful gift it is to be in relationship with others!
This is one of three foundational mindset shifts I’d love to introduce you to.
Build Better Relationships: Mindset Shift #1
Relationships ARE gifts. When we choose to see through the lens that relationships are gifts we receive, then we begin to treasure people in our lives, hold greater value, and feel more grateful for them. Reflect on a time when you received a gift you held in your hand. I bet gratitude filled your heart. In the same way, when we see relationships as gifts we receive, then we cultivate more appreciation for them.
We are social beings who crave connection. How do we tangibly develop and deepen relationships in the various social circles and communities we belong? It first begins with shifting our mindset about relationships. In this new course called Build Better Relationships, while we will focus on many ways to connect with colleagues, these ideas and concepts apply to any relationship…family and friends!Relationships ARE gifts. The relationship we have with ourselves is also a gift. Every atomic interaction is an opportunity to connect with intention to build a better relationship. Click To Tweet
Build Better Relationships: Mindset Shift #2
In attending many professional learning opportunities that mention the significance of relationships, one missing piece that is not mentioned as often is the importance of the relationship with ourselves first. This is such a key factor in how we relate to others.
Based on mindset shift #1, if we commit to seeing relationships as gifts, then the relationship we have with ourselves is also a gift. Relationships with others start with the relationship with ourselves.
To be honest, I never used to have the viewpoint that I had a relationship with myself. I am just me living my life—a collection of thoughts, feelings, emotions, experiences, goals, passions, and dreams. I didn’t see it as a connection I needed to nurture with the same love, kindness, and gratitude I gave to others. When I started to learn more and take notes about myself, my strengths, core values, and beliefs, then wow, what a difference I noticed.
I understood myself better. I was more content with who I was, the impact I’ve made, where I am on my life journey, and found much greater joy in living every day. My hope for you is that you discover the same feelings of being joyfully alive and to count your daily blessings with gratitude.
In the first part of this course, we will dive into how to build a stronger relationship with yourself through the ABCD’s of getting to know YOU better.
Build Better Relationships: Mindset Shift #3
When we see through the lens that relationships are gifts, then we begin to see that our interactions are vehicles to build a stronger bond and mutual connection of our hearts. Each and every single interaction is a building block that is the foundation for our relationships.
When you have the end goal in mind for the kind of relationships you wish to have and work backwards, you begin to see that each interaction is as important as the others. Think about it this way. When building a 500 piece LEGO set, you know what the end design should look like. There is a plan with specific instructions to follow. You know exactly where to begin…with one piece intentionally attached to another and so on and so forth.
This thinking can be applied to relationships. With time, patience, and perseverance, you get to enjoy the journey of building with one brick (or interaction) at a time. Each interaction is built on the previous one and has its place in the journey of the shared relationship.
When not building a LEGO set with specific instructions to follow, you can be resourceful and creative with various pieces. Similarly, with creative freedom, you get to create the kind of relationships you want to see through intentional interactions that will lead to closer connections.
Take some time to reflect on some of your relationships. Are they at a place you want them to be? If not, what are some small action steps you need to take order to improve your connection? Sometimes, all it takes to build a better relationship is reflection followed by small changes in action or small mindset shifts like more empathy, generosity, and time.
The third mindset shift: Every atomic interaction is an opportunity to connect with intention to build a better relationship. I love to look at these as opportunities to uplift others through love, kindness, and gratitude. I have the privilege to make an impact by making their day a brighter one as I aim to make an imprint on their heart too.[scroll down to keep reading]
Cultivate Joy & Nurture Connections with Intention
We can nurture and deepen connections with great intention. When I see relationships as gifts, my goal in each interaction is to bring more joy to their day. By doing this, it slingshots to bring more joy to my day too. I cultivate my own joy by showing kindness to others.
Sometimes others need our support. When we’ve helped in some way, it releases “feel good” hormones knowing we contributed to improving their well-being. Did you know that kindness to others is the best form of self-care?
Whenever I feel like I need to boost my spirits, the first thing I think about is surprising someone with something thoughtful to show how much I love and appreciate them. Give it a try! It works for me every time because the joy it brings to others also brings me joy! It’s a win-win!
Do you intentionally set a goal to build better relationships? If not, why not? If we recognize the impact it has on our happiness, feelings of connectedness, and well-being, then it is important to do so.
Make it a Goal
How often do you reflect on relationships to consider your current connection? Is it where you’d like it to be? How intentional are you to nurture connections? How will you build better relationships? What specific actions will you take?
Interactions either make the other person feel uplifted, happier, more positive OR it does not. What if we understood there to be NO neutral or in between? How does that change your impetus for making each interaction count?
I work on being better every day so I push myself to build better relationships. It is the biggest and most consistent goal I work on daily. Every opportunity can make a difference because it is a building block for a stronger connection (think LEGO pieces). I see and seek possibilities. Then I take and make opportunities to uplift and interact positively.
Because connection is a core value and I believe relationships are key to being my best for myself, for others, and with others, then I want AND need to work on this daily goal through intentional atomic interactions. How many times in a day do you have the blessed opportunity to make someone’s day a brighter one? Even the smallest thing like a genuine smile with a warm greeting can make a difference. I encourage you to make building better relationships a goal!
One More Mindset Shift
In every relationship, we can always invest in making it BETTER. Whether we are just getting to know someone, have known them for a few years or decades, there is still room to nurture a closer connection. This includes the relationship you have with you too!
Does that sound hard? Well, just start small! Think atomic interactions! One interaction at a time. Then over time, these relationship investments will grow and grow. It’s like compound interest.
Once you shift your mindset and practice daily, it’ll get easier and easier. It has for me with these mindset shifts.
How many lives are we willing to impact with the positive relationships we build as we nurture connections with intention?
First Action Step
Make it a GOAL…choose to BUILD BETTER RELATIONSHIPS!
Besides the relationship with yourself, which relationship(s) will you begin with? Will you record names to remind yourself? Will you DM me or email me at Livia@teachbetter.com to let me know who you’d like to commit to building better relationships with? I’d love to connect and support you! Sometimes stating your goal to someone is a helpful step to accountability. Please reach out anytime before, during, or after you take the course. I am here for you!
About Livia Chan
Livia Chan is a Head Teacher, author, presenter, and a member of the Teach Better Team. She is deeply passionate about writing, the gift of relationships, learning, and leading with heart. Livia believes that in every atomic interaction, we have the opportunity to intentionally uplift others through our love, kindness, and gratitude. We can make an impact in their lives and imprint on their hearts through the words we say and the meaningful actions we take. She would love to connect with you on Twitter at @LiviaChanL or at livchan.com.