Coach's Corner

Improve Your World

Improving your rapport with everyone around you.

It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day drivers that cause us to be more reactionary than driven. We deal with constant distractions and perceived problems regularly rather than silence and introspection. Whether there are things you have to get done at work, chores to complete at home, doctors to visit, gifts to buy for special events, plans to prepare for family and friends, or coffee shops that are close but seem further because of unexpected traffic, you are constantly bombarded by a slew of information that just keeps growing. All of these situations, in addition to text messages, calls interrupting some social media scrolling, and unexpected friend or family drama, lead you to lose sight of all the pieces that come together to create your growing life environment. Losing sight of these things causes you to lose sight of who you truly are. It’s time to reconnect with yourself.

When was the last time you thanked someone thoughtfully? This doesn’t mean you said, “thank you” and went on your day. This means that you paused to reflect on the help you were provided and what it meant for that person to give you that help. A lot of us were raised with the idea that we should always say please and thank you, but we’ve become so accustomed to saying it that we’ve forgotten the real reason why we were told to say those things in the first place.

Gratitude and kindness go a long way to help brighten someone’s day, but in today’s society, they are generally less perceived as lasting and more perceived as “earned” statements. Consider the last time you wrote an e-mail to a client or a text message to someone you don’t often talk to. Did your opening statements mention anything about hoping their day was going well? Did your closing statement offer any additional help, resources, or advice? It might seem small and almost futile, but the reality is that people appreciate when others acknowledge their presence, help, and service. These small acts of kindness have the power to make a significant difference in someone’s day, and you have the power to initiate that change.

Someone looking to succeed and foster their growth should always see every encounter as part of their current community. The goal should always be to keep your community healthy and thriving. You want to nurture it. Inside it lives your support system. We tend to think of our support system and community as only those who we keep close ties. Even though this is generally how the terms are used, they actually encompass everyone you interact with and connect with.

Consider this diagram:
Improve Your World

At the heart of your support system is you, but it’s not a solitary world. Each internal component strengthens the entire structure when focused on supporting, acknowledging, and communicating with one another. As you move towards the outer layers, you’ll notice they begin to overlap with others, demonstrating the interconnectedness of our support systems. The outermost layer, which connects us all, serves as a powerful reminder that a supportive mindset fosters a supportive world. This is the essence of positive alignment, which cannot exist without proper positive introspection and communication.

Based on the above chart, your community includes anyone you interact with or who holds a function tied to you regularly. In that case, you start to realize that everyone from friends, clients, service providers, and town workers to family, store clerks, attendants, and event suppliers (to name a few) are part of it. So why wouldn’t you want to take the extra steps to help support your community?

However, there’s a challenge: Your support system, encompassing anyone who consistently offers help, advice, support, or positive influence, can sometimes feel the strain of a negative situation or conversation. This strain, if left unaddressed, can escalate and permeate your community, your ecosystem, and even the world at large. It’s a truth, negative situations can ripple through behavior, potentially affecting a wide scale. But here’s the empowering part: You have the ability to prevent this.

When imbalances arise, it’s crucial to offer support. Sometimes, parts of our support system, similar to our bodies, might be ailing and need assistance. Just as muscles support our skeletal system’s interaction with our nervous system, we support everyone in our ecosystem. It’s our responsibility to lend a hand when we can. However, a common challenge is identifying and addressing unknown issues. We only resolve based on what we think we know about a situation. This triggers us to offer advice based on experience rather than data and true knowledge. Businesses and schools tackle this by creating playbooks, rule systems, and designations to categorize who can help with what. Our community and ecosystem have similar designations in our day-to-day lives, but our support systems might not. It’s actually our job to point people in a direction to help rather than resolve things for one another. To put it simply, you don’t know everything about anyone else’s situation to be able to offer entirely appropriate help. But by pointing someone to the correct authority or tool, you’re guiding them towards established resources that have a proven track record of success, which should give you confidence in the help they’ll receive.

90% of work-related issues, such as conflicts with coworkers, processes for task completion, or lack of career growth, can be resolved by focusing on the systems in place to support them. These systems could include HR policies, professional development coaching, and organizational programs that detail the “how to” for anything you need to accomplish (like a playbook). 90% of day-to-day issues, like personal conflicts, relationship stress, or health concerns, can be resolved by focusing on what your ecosystem and community have established to help you. These could be support groups, healthcare providers, community centers, or professional services. That’s because a business and an ecosystem have a vested interest in everyone thriving together.

Embarking on a journey of self-improvement and well-being starts with enhancing our gratitude and realizing the profound impact it has on those around us. It’s our perception of what’s around us that creates a connection. The more we see that we are part of a support system that lives inside a community that functions within an ecosystem, the more we develop alignment. When this alignment is in place, our level of happiness grows, and it ripples out, positively affecting everyone around us. This interconnectedness of gratitude, perception, and happiness holds the potential for transformative change in our lives and the lives of those we touch.

Ecosystems are in place to guide you. Seek guidance.

Communities exist to help us thrive. Grow with them.

Support Systems keep you positive. Develop synergy.

Humans are humans. Treat them as such.

It’s really that simple.

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