Keeping It Fresh
Being with the same spouse for 25 years can make it challenging to keep the relationship fresh. WORKING with that spouse for over 10 years adds even more to the challenge. Yes, I remember the days of getting flowers “just because,” but only because I consult my journals from years ago from time to time and share the entries with my 15-year old daughter, Alex.
It’s so easy to fall into a comfortable routine. Ours goes something like this:
6:30am: My alarm sings. Can you make sure Alex is up?
6:33am: His alarm squawking (yes, I have music, he has an annoying high pitched beep that gets louder and faster the longer you don’t hit the snooze). Is Alex up?
6:36am: One of us has determined that yes, Alex is up and not going to miss the bus.
7:05am: Are you going to take a shower? I ask because if he is, then I can stay in bed a little longer…
7:09am: So, are you taking a shower or not? The answer is no.
7:20am: I am out the door, he is just getting up.
8:00am: We are both now in the office and the day is filled with interruptions made by both parties, to the point that we are annoyed with each other.
3:50pm: Are you picking Alex up at the YMCA? No, you said YOU were…
4:00pm: I get Alex. 5:00pm: What’s for dinner? I don’t know, what do
you want? I don’t care, surprise me.
7:00pm: We sit down for dinner, discuss what Alex learned at school that day, then proceed to map out our TV watching for the night.
10:00pm: Will you stay awake for one more episode? Sure.
10:02pm: Snoring begins
10:04pm: I throw something at him to wake him up (usually a hair clip, or an ice
10:42pm: I’m going upstairs. So am I.
11:00pm: Good night honey, I love you. Love you too.
With the start of a new year, I looked online to get some pointers on “keeping it fresh.” While I was reading, I realized that the same could apply to a company that has fallen into a rut of doing things a certain way just because they’ve “always been done that way.”
I found these 5 core relationship elements to focus on:
If a commitment issue (whether known or unknown to both parties) is addressed correctly, it becomes a catalyst for a profound breakthrough in harmony and creative energy. This principle applies in the boardroom as well as in the bedroom. Are you committed to your co-workers and customers the same way you are to your spouse?
Take advantage of new technology
With so many of us pressed for time, why not use technology to “keep in touch” during the day. A compliment, an affection or a quick “Hello, you are being thought of” via text can spark anyone’s day. I enjoy getting an email or text from a “blast from the past.”
Strengthen your art of conversation
If you’ve ever watched The Office, you’ll know that Phyllis closes sales by knowing all about the customer’s family and interests. Once, I designed a logo for a client that incorporated a helm because he told me how much he enjoyed boating. Small talk can equal big sales if you play your cards right.
Praise, praise and thank you…
Appreciation is key in any relationship. Who doesn’t like an email or phone call that expresses what a great job they or their employees are doing? When I have a great customer service experience, I always make sure to pass that on as soon as I can to the business owner.
Be a good listener.
Well, this is Relationship Basic 101, but for a “talker” like myself, this one is tough sometimes. I was actually surprised when my sister-in-law once said to me, “I like talking to you, you really LISTEN. You ask questions and repeat back what I’ve said, so I know you are paying attention.” I don’t pretend to know what a customer wants…I listen and talk through their goals, then devise a course of action.
I welcome the opportunity to sit down and talk with you about the goals for your business in 2014. Please give me a bark at 610-430-7992, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.