New Years is a time to celebrate growth–to be grateful for the steps we’ve made in the past twelve months, and stir up hope and expectation for where we want to make progress in the next twelve. Yet so often the progress we’re celebrating (or wishing we had made) is limited to our waistline or bank account, rather than the quality of our character and relationships. I want to challenge you to think about how you want to grow in these areas in 2017, and throw out the number-one character quality I think would make our lives and relationships so much better.
We want to help you grow in relational intelligence this year. Growing in anything requires a growth mentality. A growth mentality is a key characteristic of being a powerful person. Powerful people understand that taking responsibility for their lives and relationships means engaging in an ongoing journey of learning about themselves and others, how they are affecting others, how they are managing their internal world and behavior, and how they are building connection.
One of the core character qualities that make up a growth mentality is humility. Humility is not diminishing yourself, being passive, and having no boundaries. It’s not having no value for yourself–quite the opposite. It’s understanding the strength you have to offer and choosing to use it to serve others rather than yourself. It’s learning to become effective in using that strength.
Here are three ways we can grow in humility:
1. Understand how we are affecting the world around us.
Most of us like to shift responsibility to others when problems arise, but this is powerless and irresponsible. A powerful person approaches every situation with the mentality, “I am responsible for how I interact with others and how I affect them, regardless of what someone else chooses to do.”
Managing our responses to others and understanding the effect we are having on them don’t necessarily come naturally or automatically. We actually have to learn how to do this. This is where humility comes in. It requires the humility to seek feedback and invite others to give us really great information about how they are experiencing us.
2. Be willing to adjust to strengthen connection.
A person operating in humility has the desire to create strong connections, and is willing to make adjustments in order to do so. Humility does not assume it is the other person’s job to adjust.
In unhealthy relationships, people are afraid to adjust their behavior in order to serve another person, because they believe it means they are giving up control. In healthy relationships, both people control themselves, so adjusting behavior is actually a powerful act that says, “I choose you and our relationship over myself.” Every time we adjust for the sake of our connection, we strengthen that connection.
3. Prioritize meeting the needs of others.
Paul wrote, “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too” (Philippians 2:3-4 NLT). He wasn’t saying that we have to meet every need in the people around us or pay no attention to our own interests. Every person we interact with has a different set of needs, as well as a different level of access to our hearts. But he was saying that we should be looking for ways to meet others’ needs. Whether we’re looking out for the needs of a spouse, child, friend, or coworker, it requires us to pay attention, find out what those needs are, and learn how to meet them effectively.
Humility, the ability to adapt and make changes, is necessary to grow in relational intelligence.
It may not seem easy to get started, but with some effort, you will be on your way to the relationships you desire.
PS) If interested in continuing with us on this journey of relational intelligence, here are two things I’d suggest!
- 1.Sign-up for #KYLODaily to receive daily wisdom for keeping your love on & boosting your relational IQ! Sign-up here!
- 2.Be sure to enroll in one or all of The Life Academy core tracks! We’ve discounted them by 25% for the New Year’s season. Learn more here!
PPS) Share with us some topics you would like to know more about as it relates to relational intelligence.