10 May Tools to Restore Relationships
The saying goes that no man is an island, and leaders soon realize the truth in those words. The foundation for influence and leadership comes down to the strength of our relationships. The quality of our relationships has a direct relation to the quality of our lives. This is because we also have an inherent need for mutually fulfilling relationships.
So what happens if we experience a relationship breakdown with those that we depend upon the most? What can we do to restore relationships and ensure a better quality of life for ourselves and those who work with us?
Following on from the research from Barker Caza, B., Olekalns, M., & Vogus, T. J., we will isolate three key practices that you can put into effect today to ensure a happy working environment.
Reset the Emotional Tone
The first thing we should strive to do is to reset the emotional tone. In times of high tension, it is easy for the brain to minimizes the impact we have on each other and our relationships. Yet if we don’t bring the tension down and make the environment a safe space, it is difficult to restore relationships. This can be done by firstly recognizing the impact we or the situation has had on others. Be interested and ask what the impact of the conflict has on them, the team, and the trust in the relationship. Remember, what you give voice to allows for healing to take place.
There are 4 great ways to aid in encouraging resolution.
The first of these is a team charter, the company values, or a code of conduct. This can be used as a framework for expectations of each other.
Next, you can set some ground rules. Doing this allows for effective communication. By everyone knowing that they will have time to talk, it prevents overt defensiveness for those listening. Your aim should be to accept that the reality of others is different from your own.
Another is suggesting a time out. A Course Correction Pause is a tool in the event the conversation becomes too heated or emotional. In advance of starting the conversation, agree to a safe word. The agreement can include taking a break and coming back to share.
Lastly, you should commit to a shared relationship goal. All relationships require leadership. Take the leadership role to create a partnership. Clarify the results you commit yourself to produce as you engage in restoring the relationship.
Craft Your Shared Narrative
As a function of safety, our brain automatically generates stories based on our past experiences to make sense of the world. Neuroscience indicates 80% of what we see is filled in by the brain patterns, experiences, and beliefs we have. Yes – this means we are missing 80% of reality in front of us. Understanding these stories can provide insight into each other.
When dealing with confrontation, we can ask the following questions to make sure we are getting the whole picture:
- What were the triggers that had it go the way it went?
- What was missing?
- Who was I being in the interaction when the conflict happened?
- What can I be responsible for?
- What label have I given in this situation?
Build Relational Agility
After the emotional tone is reset and a new conversation is created, new ways of interacting become available. Once you know how to restore relationships, you learn to give up your judgments, labels, and assessments.
There are also other methods to resolve conflict and restore relationships. One is to consider looking at the relationship as a third entity. Separating the relationship from people enables you to have a broader perspective. Next, you can reflect on your history. Appreciative Inquiry is a strong process to focus on what you like, admire, and appreciate both in the person and what they do. Lastly, ask yourself who I could be in this relationship to strengthen connection and increase our productivity.
Restore Relationships One Step at a Time
The reality is that conflict has the ability to make smart people stupid.
Once we realize that we need to be willing to rebuild trust to restore relationships, only then can progress be made. Resetting the emotional tone, crafting a shared narrative, and building relational ability are the key tools you can put into effect today to reach this goal.
If you wish to create a safe, growth environment within your family business, I would love to help you reach your goals. My family communication workshop has been able to help many to restore relationships, and I’d love to do my part to help you.
For more information or just to set up a conversation, follow this link.