RelationshipsOur relationships with others can be viewed as the landscape of our lives. We spend our entire lives tending to that landscape. In some periods of our lives divorce, death, feuding, marriage, new birth, and reconciliation drastically change the landscape. Who we are has a significant impact on the health and quality of our relationships. How we communicate can be viewed as a manifestation of who we are.

The way we deal with situations that challenge who we are provides a window into the essences of our beings. We choose what end of the continuum we want our reaction to align with. We respond near the defensive end of the spectrum or near the open end of the continuum. What is important to note is that we choose our reaction and our methods consciously or unconsciously. We increase our effectiveness, our level of connectedness, the quality of our relationships, and the quality of our communications. The benefits are better results through increased understanding, teamwork, and collaboration.

In each relationship that makes up the landscapes of our lives our personal brand is present. My position is that our personal brand influences how others perceive us through our communication acts. Consequently, if we are brand negative with others, they are likely to perceive our communications in line with their negative connotation of who we are. The same applies with those with whom we are brand positive.

How we communicate impacts how we are perceived.

That perception and our brand are somewhat synonymous. It starts with you. What about your communications help and hinder you from connecting with others? What opportunities are lost when the connection is not made? What about your communications cause you to get in your own way? What are you willing to change about your thinking in the next 30 to 60 days that will increase your ability to connect with others? How will you know the change has occurred? I have found what has helped me connect with others.

I like learning and I like understanding why other people think what they think and do what they do. I like asking questions rather than making statements. I do make statements of my perspective and what has worked for me but only after asking several questions to gain the other person’s perspective and context. I have found learning far more interesting when it involves discovering why, what and how.

Communicating in a way that increases the level of connectedness between individuals and within teams fosters opportunities for knowledge creation, learning and personal growth.