The main premise of Stephen Covey’s best selling book: “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is predicated upon the belief that true success encompasses healthy relationships in both your personal and professional life. To have success in only one area of your life, especially if it comes at the expense of success in the other area, is not really success at all.
The bottom line for true success lies in the ability to develop and sustain healthy relationships at work and at home. As the world becomes ever more inter-connected, the ability to build effective relationships with others becomes even more critical to one’s individual success as well as being tantamount to success in business.
Therefore, work-life balance, which is not really balance as much as it is the ability to reconcile our personal and professional lives with each other, is at the heart of our success. Companies that truly embrace work-life initiatives, as opposed to giving it lip service, produce more loyal and productive employees, evidenced by a lower turnover rate.
Effective communication is the foundation for developing healthy relationships and it consists of three main components: verbal communication, non-verbal communication and active listening.
- Verbal Communication includes the words we chose to communicate with. There are usually many words we can choose to get our message across, so choose your words wisely. The more sensitive the message is that is being sent, the more carefully you should choose your words. In addition, “say what you mean and mean what you say!” This will take the guess work out of your communication.
- Non-verbal Communication includes all forms of communication that are not verbal, with body language being one of the most important types of non-verbal communication. Make sure your verbal and non-verbal communications are consistent with each other – so your message is not open to interpretation.
- Active Listening is the ability to listen with an open heart and mind. This means you are listening to someone without having your own hidden agenda. Many people listen without really hearing what is being said. This leads to many misunderstandings and the demise of many relationships. A great way to increase your ability to actively listen is to be totally 100% present when engaged in conversation – and not distracted by other thoughts or “to-do’s” running through your head.
The ability to create success in your business and life is predicated upon your ability to develop effective relationships via effective communication skills.
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