Three Relationship Tips for Small Business

We all know that most small businesses don’t make it past four years. So you have started your business and not gone bust! Well done.

But after survival phase, you need to find a way to manage growth of your business. Growth is more likely to follow relationships, than sales. So here are three relationship tips that are worth thinking about:

  1. Customers. Build relationships with your customers, even if they are not your biggest ones. This takes time, but need not be expensive. You don’t need to take them out to lunch, or send little gifts with your business name on. A quick unexpected phone call, a personalised email, or some timely information can be very effective. Be clear that you want a business relationship. Always talk about them first, ask a question, try and find out at least one thing you did not know before and don’t be afraid to ask directly for a referral. But most importantly, know their history! Make sure you know what business you have previously done with them, how long they have been a customer, keep phone notes, emails and other communications handy and part of your customer records. If you can demonstrate that you know your clients, they will respect you for it. It is clear that if people respect you, they will remember you and refer you.

  1. Your team. Your team are both your frontline brand and the key to efficiency! It is much harder to find and develop good staff, than it is to keep the good staff you already have. So how do you develop good relationships with your staff? Empathy, good humour and patience are probably most important. Remember that everyone is not like you (probably a good thing), and learn to appreciate and leverage the relative strengths in your team members. But equally important is to stay organised and clear in your communications. Most people don’t mind being asked to do things at work, as long as the process and instruction is clear and the outcome is recognised. Setting up simple workflow will help to keep people organised. Providing all team members with clear instructions, and a simple interface to report on outcomes will help keep everyone happy and will also help you manage those situations where things don’t go according to plan!

  1. Yourself and your family. Running a business is hard work and almost always eats into your personal time. This is normal and acceptable, as long as you love being in business in the first place. But always remember why you have gone into business and what you want in your life when you have sold the business or retired. Ultimately your business should work for you, not the other way around. If you do not have good systems in place that automate your workflow, keep your records in place and keep finances under control, then you will waste a lot of time chasing your tail. Typically this is the time that eats into your personal life. So if you care about yourself, support yourself with systems that free up your time.

Ke eping Communication Open

Although some of these tips may focus on holiday seasons, there is nothing to say that you cannot use them year-around! Learn how to connect, minimize mind-reading and become more receptive to giving and receiving love to and from your partner.

Tip #1:Evaluating the Year Thus Far

You probably set some New Year’s Resolutions for 2007. How are you doing with them thus far? They are only as successful as you want them to be. Many focus on wealth, weight or career, but what about love? What would you like to do differently with your relationship? More quality time? Less conflict? More passion? It’s easy to say, “I’ll start tomorrow!” Why wait until tomorrow! Now is the time to take action!

Each day, take 5-10 minutes doing something for each other that requires no expectations in return. Write a quick note letting your partner know how much you care for them. Turn off the T.V. to show that you’re paying attention to each other. Whatever you choose to do, taking 10 minutes out of your hectic day to connect with your partner can make all the difference to your relationship!

Tip #2:Love is…..

It is interesting how we focus on specific holidays to show our love for our partners. February is the month of love. It’s fascinating how everyone goes all out to demonstrate their love for one another: chocolates, cards, candy, flowers, jewelry…….It’s all nice, but love needs to be shared 365 days a year (366 if it’s Leap Year!). Love can be expressed in many ways. How do you express love to your partner? Is it the type of love your partner needs? Some people like gifts, other like hugs, and even others prefer help with the daily routines.

An open discussion between you and your partner can uncover if the type of love you give is actually what your partner needs and vice versa. Understanding how your partner appreciates you will allow you to respond appropriately, resulting in an increased connection and less feeling unappreciated.

Remember love is……….year around! And it gives so much in return!!!

Tip #3: Admit How you “Feel”

All too often, I hear that admitting feelings is a sign of weakness. Let’s look at this from another perspective. Think how empowering it could be to tell another person exactly where you’re coming from without doubt, uncertainty, or room for misinterpretation?

One way to express yourself is to use “I feel” sentences. When you want to let your partner know about your reaction to something they do or say, respond by stating, “I feel…..” and insert an emotion. Do not use, “I feel that you…..” as this will be construed as blame. Instead, say “I feel , because .”

For example, “I’m feeling hurt because I was hoping we could spend more time together.”

As you can see, the word “YOU” was not included and you’re ability to stand up for yourself emotionally and with conviction is clear. It may feel funny to talk this way at first, but if you continue to practice, it’ll begin to feel natural and even….empowering!!!!

Tip #4: Playing the Ping-Pong Game

Have you experienced a situation similar to this?

Maybe your partner doesn’t pay attention to you like they used to. You’ve grown resentful, so you’ve stopped doing something that you used to (whether consciously or not). As a result, they continue to withhold that attention from you (again consciously or not). And so it goes, the “ping-pong game.”

What does it take to end the game? This is one game that isn’t meant to be “won,” but ended. To end the game, take the first step…talk about the game that the 2 of you are in and talk about what each of you need to end the game….then both of you DO IT!!! This refers to the little things that go a long way, like appreciating one another, showing affection, or spending time together.

This does not refer to compromising so much of yourself that you’ll be resentful. It does refer to ending the trivial issues that have consumed your relationship.

Tip #5: Do you have ESP??

How often have you or your partner started a sentence with, “I know what you’re thinking/feeling?” How do you know? Do you have ESP? Do you have the ability to read your partner’s mind? While the obvious answer is “No, of course not,” it’s real easy to ASSUME what our partners are thinking and/or feeling. However, assuming is dangerous. Assuming is based on our own perceptions of the situation and our own biases, not necessarily the same perceptions of our partner.

So how do you overcome the ESP syndrome? If you have an inkling of what your partner may be thinking, stop and check it out with your partner. It’s amazing to see how often your perceptions may not equate to your partner’s thoughts and/or feelings.

Leave the ESP to psychics…they aren’t much better in their own predictions.

How to Save My Relationship

“How will I save my relationship? How will I make him fall for me all over again?” You have probably come across these questions. Handling a relationship is never easy. As the years grow longer, disagreements and quarrels become inevitable. A troubled relationship can drive you mad, disturb your thoughts, and pin you down from living a gratifying life. In fact, many of the relationships become bitter and end in painful break ups because no attempts have been made to save it. Rescuing a relationship can be an off-putting undertaking. It requires you patch up those little cracks and retrieve all the passion and trust that were wasted away. Many believe that in order for a relationship to become steady and long-term the couples must feel the excitement that they have felt at the start and once you have lost that thrill there is no way to build your relationship all over again. They don’t recognize that a good relationship is not merely about fascination; it is about the respect and mutual affection that exist between couples. Since clashes in relationships can happen all the time, saving your relationship is the toughest thing you will ever go through in life. Apart from that, a troubled relationship occurs because of so many reasons. But whatever the reason is, it’s important to talk about the conflicts and recognize the root cause of why your relationship is troubled. And take a few minutes out of your time to read a list of how to save my relationship tips.

“How will I save my relationship?” There are several things you can do rescue your relationship. Assess yourself. If you don’t, then saving your relationship will not be possible. So when you are really committed to making everything better, be honest with yourself. All relationship issues happen because something in the relationship went wrong and you can’t fix it up if you will not work hard to find out what was wrong. So if you are asking, “How will I save my relationship?” you should be wholehearted in admitting your shortcomings and learn from them. Oftentimes troubles in a relationship occur because one or both partners are taking control over the other’s life. Realize that your partner is a separate personality and is not something that you own so don’t push him or her to do what you want all the time. In some instances, relationship issues stem from insecurities. At times, you feel unsure of yourself and you expect your partner to feel the same things about you. When things don’t go the way you want you nag over your partner’s feelings although he or she is not guilty of any mistake. On the other hand, you may not be the cause of that break up and perhaps it was your partner who did something that breaks your trust. It might take time to heal the conflicts that have led your relationship to a rocky situation, but being optimistic and considerate can make the process easier for you.

When you think that everything in your relationship is getting worse, don’t just shrug off or cry hard over it, and ask, “How will I save my relationship?” Not doing anything won’t help you overcome your worries. Take a seat and talk through the things that you want to fix up. It is always important that you maintain a positive communication. However, don’t push too hard when you want to save your relationship. Don’t insist on getting something back if is not possible at all or if the person is not really the ideal one for you. The thing is the perfect person will come into your life the least you expect it.

Foolproof Rescue Relationship

You can’t do magic to fix your broken relationship. There’s even no pill that you can take to make things better. Solutions need to be practical and realistic. Nothing else can help you except that. Another thing is that there has to be trust, respect and love. Otherwise, it just wouldn’t work out. Also, take away one of these elements and your relationship has the possibility to go down the drain. If you feel that your relationship is on the rocks right now, you will have to need some “rescue relationship” tips to help you out.

You have to face the reality. The sudden gush of emotions, butterflies in the stomach and that tingling sensation you felt on the initial stage of the relationship will eventually fade. The honeymoon stage will be gone once both of you are settled in. That amazing passion and excitement will eventually change into something calm and typical. To you, everything may seem boring and routine. Don’t let that feeling get to you. All the more you should find ways to make your relationship last. Rather than staying on the same spot, take your relationship to the next level.

Epitomize the great qualities that help make a relationship work. There should be honesty, trust, understanding, compassion, forgiveness and loyalty. You have to complement one another. You need to accept that both of you are mere humans capable of making mistakes. Always, make room for mistakes. Otherwise, your relationship would be too perfect.

Have a good communication system. It’s not enough that you just talk. Both of you should be able to verbalize what you feel. Don’t keep it inside of you. Address your concerns and problems before it gets worse. You should be open to one another and telling all honesty. Otherwise, your concerns would make you resent things. What is more is that you will eventually get hurt and angry. Both of you need to sit down, talk and listen to one another.

Nobody is perfect and so is your partner. Imperfection is what makes a relationship stronger. You begin to understand each other’s personality. You begin to adjust and compromise. Mistakes don’t mean that the love you have for each other is doomed to fail. Look at it this way, you are given a chance to grow and mature as a couple. You are building your foundation on trust and faith in one another.

Another “rescue relationship” suggestion would be to take a break from everything. If talking to one another isn’t helping then perhaps being silent about it would be the solution. Laying low on a heated conversation doesn’t necessarily mean that you are walking out of the problem. It just means that you are showing him some love and respect that he deserves. Having that opportunity to take a break will allow you to clear things out. Making you think well not basing on your emotions.

Learn to be grateful to one another. Learn to say thank you for the little things he does. Also, be there for him when he needs you. Be supportive in the decisions he make. Be proud of the success he achieves.

Learn to live life to the fullest. Have fun with what life has to offer. You shouldn’t be too stressed out and bored. Do something spontaneous if you want. Relive the moments when the two of you first met. That is when you will realize that you do love your partner.

Bart Collins is a relationship guru who loves to write articles about relationships. Helps out people on how to fix their broken relationships and have a happy ending.

4 Relationship Tips to Help You Deal With Your Narcissistic Partner

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Jennifer cannot believe how self-absorbed her boyfriend, Sam, is.

She used to be inspired by his confidence, but now it comes off as arrogance. Sam seems more than willing to talk about his life, his day at work and his accomplishments and dreams and absolutely unwilling to focus any attention on her.

Sometimes, Jennifer feels like Sam continues to date her just so that he has someone to talk about himself with.

Recently, she became aware of just how narcissistic Sam is when her grandmother– whom she dearly loves– died. This was a big deal for Jennifer and she is still feeling a lot of sadness and grief. Other than a, “So sorry to hear the news” from Sam, Jennifer has received little to no support or comfort from him.

This makes her feel even more empty and sad.

Are you in a love relationship or marriage with someone who seems all caught up in him or herself? Maybe your partner comes off as arrogant and self-centered. Perhaps your mate can’t seem to think or talk about anyone but himself or herself.

If so, you might wonder if your partner is narcissistic.

Being with a narcissistic partner can be painful. You might feel ignored, deficient in some way, irritated, angry and possibly even worried about this apparent personality flaw. You may wonder if your partner is in need of professional help.

It’s true. There is an actual psychological condition called narcissism. It is defined as: “A pattern of traits and behaviors which signify infatuation and obsession with one’s self to the exclusion of all others and the egotistic and ruthless pursuit of one’s gratification, dominance and ambition.”*

However, people who appear to be narcissistic, may actually have something else going on. They might not literally be narcissistic. There is often more to a relationship dynamic than what it appears. For example, your own insecurities or fears may cause you to perceive your partner as more self-centered than he or she actually is.

This doesn’t mean that you are wrong and your partner is right or that you don’t have valid reasons for how you feel. Absolutely not!

What it does mean is that if you want to stay in this relationship and you’d like to experience some improvement around this issue, you’re most likely going to need to re-evaluate the situation– including your role in it.

If you’re with a self-absorbed partner, remember these 4 relationship tips…

#1: Question the labels you’re applying.
In the moment– or in a series of regularly occurring moments– it may seem obvious to you that your partner is narcissistic. We caution you about applying this label to your partner (or to anyone) without truly understanding what it means.

To throw around labels like this can have real and negative consequences.

By all means, identify what’s true for you and how you feel. Figure out what about your partner’s words or actions is upsetting to you. It is far more effective to recognize that you feel ignored, for example, than to merely call your partner narcissistic.

Labels CAN be useful, if applied accurately and with an intention to better understand.

#2: Get clear about what you want and need.
Recognizing your wants and needs in your relationship is absolutely essential. For the moment, focus less on what you find upsetting about your partner’s habits and, instead, look at what you truly want from this relationship.

Be specific. If you feel ignored, what would it look like for you to be acknowledged and feel special in your relationship? Take out a piece of paper and a pen and write down what types of activities, conversations and experiences you’d like to share with your partner. How do you want to feel when you are together?

This isn’t a demand list for you to present to your partner. It is a way for you to get clear about what your priorities are when it comes to your relationship.

#3: Create agreements with your partner.
Use your list of wants and needs to create agreements with your partner. This is not about presenting ultimatums or making threats to leave (unless you are willing to actually leave).

An agreement needs to be cooperatively reached. Make your agreements specific and ones that each of you are honestly willing to follow through with.

For example, if you feel ignored by your partner, come up with some tangible and meaningful ways that you two can make a connection– whether it’s at home, during the workday, at a party or in some other manner.

Another example of an agreement might be that you your partner, you or both of you meet with a professional counselor or coach who can help.

#4: Make decisions about what’s in YOUR best interests.
Know that you get to decide what is in your best interests. A relationship is about two people coming together and honestly communicating about needs, but you are the one who ultimately chooses whether or not it’s wise for you to stay in the relationship.

If your partner truly is narcissistic and refuses to do anything about it, you might decide that it is unwise for you to stay in this relationship.

Even if the “narcissist” label does not apply to your partner, you might decide that there are no indications that the improvements you seek are going to happen. You may choose to end the relationship because you believe this is an undesirable and possibly unhealthy relationship for you.

What we urge you to remember is that you get to choose. After questioning you beliefs about your partner and yourself, honestly assess whether this is the relationship you want to be in right now.