Growing and Sustaining Engagement
As Jen mentioned last week, we’re exploring the topic of Expanding Your Influence over the next few weeks … because engagement with others – interacting, connecting and building relationship – is its foundation. Most of us don’t live in a bubble, so it’s important to be cognizant of how we relate to others … to understand the impact of not only our actions, but also our presence, when we are with others.
It’s a known fact that people must routinely practice new habits or skills to get it into their “bones.” The ability to execute then becomes easier, lessening the need for intense thinking or planning. Just as with habits, moving from initiating engagement with others to sustaining engagement takes effort.
I wish there were an author to cite, but alas, there is none: “Relationships end too soon because people stop putting in the same effort to keep you as they did to win you.” What are you noticing about your reaction to that quote? Is it something you’ve experienced from others? Or maybe it’s something you’re guilty of with others?
Why is it that, after a while, we can invest less of ourselves with people whom we like … respect … or even love? Taking others for granted, being so sure we know what they are thinking or how they are feeling (without asking), and assuming we will be forgiven for our inconsideration are three examples of engagement erosion.
On the other hand, being open to others’ perspectives and being completely present in each moment are ways to sustain engagement with others, resulting in stronger relationships. It may take time and effort – and it’s up to you to decide where and how you want to invest it. Just be aware of the impact you will make with your actions.
This Week: Identify three existing strong relationships. How are you honoring each? What are you doing to proactively sustain each one? If there is more you can do, what will it take to act? If you feel the relationship is lopsided when it comes to effort and/or desire, get curious; be open to what’s needed; engage in this exploration with the other.
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