#229 How Do I Tend to Relationships Over Time?
#229 How Do I Tend to Relationships Over Time?

I was at a conference recently where the mantra was “Always Be Connecting”. It is probably good advice as we never know who we might meet, how we might help each other and ultimately what relationships we might cultivate.

And yet, if we are only connecting then it feels like we are missing something. It feels more transactional than relational.

I like to think of relationships as a deeper bond where we care for each other and are willing to help outside of any direct transaction. There is no accounting ledger. This is not to imply that relationships need to last for life. They don’t, because our lives lead us in all directions and unless they are watered by periodic contact and energy they inevitably weaken over time.

3Cs of Relationships

In that respect I like to talk about the 3Cs of Relationship:

  • Cultivate: This is about forming and nurturing new relationships. This is where we intentionally go beyond transactions and seek to form a deeper bond with another person.
  • Cherish: This is about maintaining and valuing existing relationships. This word signifies holding something dear and taking good care of it, which fits well with the idea of keeping a relationship strong and healthy.
  • Compost: This is about ending relationships in a way that allows for new growth. It isn’t about suddenly ending all contact, but it is about acknowledging that a relationship has run its course. That a relationship is primarily about the past and has a whiff of nostalgia about it – for what may have been lost. That the energy in the relationship is somewhat stuck.

I find this brings more intentionality to my relationships. Letting relationships limp along and spending time with people out of a sense of duty serves no one. It also frees us to truly think in terms of cultivating and cherishing.

So, ask yourself: What relationship might I cultivate today?

Questions in the Image:

  • How do I tend to relationships over time?
  • What relationship would I like to cultivate?
  • What relationship might I cherish today?
  • What relationships no longer serve?

Want to Read More Around This Topic?

Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek (link to Amazon.co.uk). The author discusses the importance of fostering strong relationships within organisations. The book argues that effective leaders prioritise the well-being of their team members, building an environment that allows relationships to be nurtured and cherished over time, leading to a more productive and harmonious workspace.

Nurturing Curiosity – Daily Practice: This is part of the Nurturing Curiosity series of tools, insights and questions designed to help nurture curiosity as part of our daily practice. In point of fact, every interaction we have is an opportunity to question what we are observing and how we and others are seeing the world. Also remember that questions come in many forms throughout our day. I had a situation this morning where I was asked the exact same question twice by the same person. My sense is that my second answer wasn’t as patient as it might have been. Could I have responded differently? Yes. So, I apologized in case the person felt I had been a little short. The long-term relationship is what is important, not me being right or wrong in a particular moment in time.

About Tom O’Leary

I coach, mentor and teach leaders who are shaping a brighter future.

Leadership can be lonely, the challenges daunting, and the workload overwhelming. I help leaders feel heard, gain clarity, take action, build confidence and thrive! Leaders matter. Their work matters. We need them at their best!

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This means spending time contemplating what might be possible so that when we take action, we can bring all our energy and power to bear.

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