Sunday, February 25, 2007

Throwing People Away

Have you thrown anyone away recently? Someone who works for you, someone in your family, a friend…someone you’re dating or even married to? Did you need to read this to realise you might have?

Relationships can be defined as “a state of connectedness between people”. One can compartmentalize relationships into categories such as work relationships, personal relationship’ all levels and degrees of each. The bottom line is it’s a connection, an association whether by blood, virtue of working with others, new or old friendships or intimate personal relationships. How we respect those relationships determines whether or not they will be sustained, long-term relationships or turn into the superficial ‘have as little to do with these individuals’ interactions.

For some reason, many take relationships for granted to the point where they throw people away. Right now one of the prevalent themes and issues we’re talking about in the private and public sectors is attracting and retaining talent. If we throw people away by not treating people in a respectful manner, retention isn’t possible. In our personal relationships, whether families, couples, or friendships when we take people for granted, treat them with little respect and don’t show others they’re treasured and valued, we are, in essence ‘throwing them away’. When you turn around and realise these people have disappeared from our lives, more often than not, even if you mend ways in some instances, the original relationship can never be recaptured. Trusting that the other person will not revert back to the old ways is near impossible to recapture. And believe me when I tell you if you do revert back to the old ways you won’t have a chance to do that again. The relationship will more often than not be severed.

As I wrote a long time ago in The Trust Building, trust isn’t broken, it’s shattered. That applies to all relationships no matter how they’re defined.

So here’s a wake-up call to those who are reading this….if you take your colleagues, peers and staff for granted and expect a lot with giving them nothing in return, then you can be sure they won’t be supporting you for long. If it’s family and you’ve treated them as insignificant, they will treat you in kind and disappear from your life in all but a superficial way. If it’s a long time friend who you’re taking for granted and are rarely paying attention or not being very nice to, well, before you know it, those people will have disappeared from your life and you won’t have noticed, well until they’re not there any more. And if it’s someone you’re in a personal relationship with, partner…. spouse, and you stop paying attention, take them for granted and expect they will be there for you by virtue of the connection, they too will disappear and you will have thrown them away. Remember…actions lie louder than words. You can promise the moon and the stars and never come through with anything but your actions will speak volumes. Blame them for running the other way if you want, but the responsibility lies with you.

Donna Karlin

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