How to improve your relationships using a business mind


According to relationship expert Paula Quinsee, employees mimic the leadership behaviour of the organisation just as children learn from and mimic their parent’s behaviour.

Parents or guardians set the standard at which the family functions and prospers, while leaders do the same for the organisation in terms of corporate culture, values, vision and mission, she explained. The basic principles are the same, but the key difference is that our personal relationships are emotionally charged and in the workplace, we are driven by the love we have for the organisation and colleagues, as well as being valued for our contribution.

In the workplace, employers and employees will often conduct performance appraisals, performance reviews, deliverables and targets. However, according to Quinsee, author of Embracing Conflict, we do not engage in this same review process in our own personal relationships.

Communication plays a major role in all relationships as 90 per cent of all issues in any type of relationships are caused by the lack of communication. “This is either what is not being said or what’s not being heard for fear of being judged or being criticised or being dismissed or not being taken seriously,” said Quinsee.

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Human beings are instinctive and can sense when a situation or space does not feel safe. When this occurs between two people, distance is created as a form of self-protection and so sharing and honesty decrease. According to Quinsee, it is for this reason that focusing on communication, listening, hearing and understanding skills becomes important, instead of trying to respond quickly or prove a point.

It is also important to continuously communicate, as well as spend quality time in a relationship. Date night, according to Quinsee, is an effective way to address this and does not necessarily have to be expensive or take place in the evening. Taking a stroll, afternoon tea or even breakfast can be considered as a good opportunity to be fully present with your partner and talk about deeper, meaningful things.

Quality time forces you to see things from your partner’s perspective and gain the understanding to resolve any conflict. It is very important to remember that couples are equally responsible for keeping this space safe between them. Quinsee suggested finding a minimum of 15 minutes each day without interruptions where you can really connect with each other, to listen and hear what the other person has to say.

She explained that relationships take two people to hold each other accountable and to uphold relationship boundaries and goals. Commitment and support are essential to a successful relationship.

What are some useful techniques you use to resolve conflict in your personal relationships, as well as in the workplace? Share them with us by emailing [email protected]

Staff Reporter

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