Real Life. Real Strategies. Real Quick.
Smart Solutions for Working Women.
April 7, 2010
Issue #6

Building Relationships for Better Balance
As someone who works to help you find time for yourself, it might surprise you that I'm suggesting you invest more time in something...your relationships.  It may seem counterintuitive, but when push comes to shove and we're overwhelmed by our many roles and responsibilities, it's going to be the people in our life who will help us when we need it the most.  Here are some simple ways to get started:

  1. Get to know your colleagues, and let them know you.
    When co-workers know each other well and are familiar with the stressors which may be affecting them (i.e. caring for an elderly parent), the atmosphere naturally becomes more cooperative.  If this initially feels uncomfortable, start by asking about their weekend plans or the photos on their desk.  Be mindful of personal boundaries, but definitely make the effort to learn more about your colleagues; it is an investment well worth your time.

  2. Support your colleagues in unexpected ways.
    Offer to help a co-worker who is struggling with a new software program.  Give your colleague the data they requested a few days before their deadline.  Ask how you might help when you notice they're overwhelmed.  These sincere gestures help build collegiality and create an environment where you will be supported when you are the one in need.

  3. Get to know co-workers outside your team.
    There are a lot of people in your organization who are critical to your success, but if we're honest, we'll admit that many of us don't interact with them unless we're in the middle of a crisis.  When your computer crashes, the folks in IT will probably come to your rescue a lot faster if you've developed a relationship with them and treated them well.

  4. Treat your "service providers" well and they'll return the favor.
    Our hectic lives often necessitate making special requests of our day care provider, plumber, auto mechanic, etc.  Have you recently shown appreciation for how they keep your life running?  Rest assured, when you're running late and won't make it to the dry cleaner until after closing, they're more likely to leave your clothes for you at the Thai restaurant next door if they know and like you.  (True story!)

  5. Make friends and family a priority.
    Text your partner asking how the presentation went; drop off flowers for a friend who's having a tough week, or simply turn the computer off so you can be fully present with your family. Our friends and family often take a back seat when we're busy; however, it is those very people who are most vital to our well being and who make the insanity of our daily lives worth it.

Faun Zarge helps people find solutions for their work-life challenges.
She offers her practical, realistic strategies through a wide variety of highly interactive and engaging seminars.  Please feel free to contact Faun directly to discuss how she might help your organization.


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