The many returns of the day, Part 3- What is your ROR?

Return on RelationshipsIn this post we are returning to our series focused on achieving a positive rate of return on our investments outside of a purely financial measurement.

We are exploring the idea that where our money goes in and of itself is not really the indicator of what our future is going to look like. Our priorities and choices in every part of our life are a factor.

In this conversation we’re talking about ROR or Return on Relationships.

Are you strategic in your relationships? Remember that being strategic is simply beginning with the end in mind. We all have relationships. It is our perspective about their value and our respective roles in them where we begin to understand the idea of a return from our investment in them.

I’m sharing these thoughts just after I’ve returned from spending a full day with one of my master mind groups. These relationships have given me the priceless gift of hope. I learn from each of our members every time we meet. They have validated my gifts and inspired me to invest them more fully. It is just one example of how our relationships can be intentional and create a return.

Here are five things I would offer for you to consider to take these thoughts further:

1–Just as with learning, the first way to be certain you are getting a maximum return is to honestly assess whether or not you are investing in your relationships. We should always check ourselves first and be certain that we are doing our part.

Consider who is on your calendar more than what. Where are you intentionally building and investing in relationships that represent your values and your vision?

2- The second place we need to check is our expectation or intention. What is the purpose of the relationship? Are you clear about that? Is the other party clear about it as well? Clarity in relationships is crucial. So many times we are not getting what we need because we aren’t being clear about that with ourselves and the other person or people. This is most often where dissatisfaction begins: a lack of communication around our mutual needs.

This is a lesson I have seen demonstrated very clearly within our master mind. In this last meeting, Kyle Wilson, our mentor and leader started our day by asking us to meditate around our intention for the day in terms of what we wanted to receive first and then what we wanted to give. A powerful part of how we achieve maximum results is knowing the result we seek.

3- Next is reciprocity. This is not about keeping score. It’s about balance, harmony, give and take. What does the other person need from you? Are you actively engaged in meeting their needs? As Ralph Waldo Emerson stated: “It is one of the most beautiful compensations in life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”

This could really have been 2a and 2b on the list but it’s important to highlight both sides of this particular coin. And there’s a reason that they are shown in the order they are. Many (most) of us are givers. That’s a good thing. Reciprocity is how you make certain you achieve balance. It is about giving AND taking. Review where you are on this point, even if you need to engage in a specific conversation about it.

Remember, it’s not for keeping score – it is about creating harmony and mutual value.

4- That brings us to what I call the “E” factor: Emotional and Energy returns. How do you feel about yourself in the relationship? How does the other person feel? Is your energy lifted or drained? In our next segment we will be talking about ROE or Return on Energy in more depth but it’s a clear factor specific to relationships.

I am a natural introvert. My energy comes from solitude and my personal creative processes. So this is a critical point for me. For my extrovert friends, being around others can almost always generate energy just because that is how they are wired. But for all of us, whether introvert or extrovert, the element of positive energy merits discussion. When we are invested in the right relationships our synergies make our time together empowering.  

#5- The final point is the horizon check: what’s changing for you? For them? What does that make possible for you and your relationship? What might need to shift in the relationship for it to hold and increase its value through those changes?

All of us go through transitions in our lives. Sometimes that is a natural course of changing seasons. Other times it comes from decisions about our work. The key is placing a value on core relationships within those changes.

When my work focus shifted it mandated a complete change in my personal network circles. I was not prepared for that. I had not nurtured or even developed relationships away from my work. This became a recognized value for me after that. Rather than starting with the work and seeing what relationships develop, seek the relationships and see what opportunities appear. A very different perspective and one that allows you to have agility within your personal and professional circles for growth in every area.

Five considerations to think about for driving positive investment actions in our relationships.

Remember that we are not meant to stay where we are. We are meant to grow. As Charlie Tremendous Jones taught – “Where we are in five years compared to where we are now is going to be determined by the books we read and the people we meet.” When we are strategic, those people will bring a positive influence and opportunities for all of us.

What makes these particular ideas valuable is that no matter what relationship we’re talking about, the same principles apply.

Whether it is our relationships within our family, with friends, colleagues or customers – we need to honestly review our investment, intentions, balance, energy responses and commitment to value them.

Following these guidelines can deliver confidence that the investments we make in others and our relationship with them is going to give both of us the highest possible return – a positive sense of self, who we are and our value in the world. How? Because we are creating a foundation that fosters and promotes that with every exchange.

Live (invest) today like you want tomorrow to be. Live (invest) well!


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