A Different Kind of Wealth: How to Build Quality Relationships

When we bring out the best in ourselves, we bring out the best in others. Last week, a friend died of cancer. When you reach your 40's, these things start to happen.

My friend, "Zippy," was a sharp investor. He did well financially, but he excelled in investing in people and relationships. That is where his true wealth was stored.

My 23 years of serving clients has taught me two important facts:

  1. It’s important to PLAN WELL and INVEST WISELY to help live more deliberately. Learning how to do this is the purpose of this blog.
  2. Building and investing in quality relationships has an even greater impact on your life.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with performance coach John Sowada of Fort Worth, Texas. John’s clients include individuals, athletes, and business partners who want to reach their “peak performance” in life and work.

Improving our relationships through respect

John Sowada reminds us how current relationships—whether good or bad—shape our future, and how by improving our relationships, we can improve our future. And we can start today.

John says, “The marital difficulties or business partnerships difficulties . . . that end up in court in an ugly nasty expensive mess . . . start out with tiny little violations of disrespect.”

In any relationship, John explains, “the way we operationally convey respect [to one another] is by doing three things."

  • Listen (make eye contact; ask for clarification; hear the meaning behind their words)
  • Respond (let others know we consider their opinion or ideas worthy)
  • Hold ourselves accountable (accept the consequences of our errors, apologize, and/or make restitution when necessary)

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How do we apply the principle of respect to improve relationships?

  • Be genuine (be transparent, talk face to face, don’t flatter)
  • Develop respect (seek out something about the person we respect and build on that; consider their needs above our own)
  • Improve our people skills (plan our approach and practice it; consider our timing; check our body language)

Both wealth- and relationship-building take time, care, patience, and effort.  But if wealth-building were to be compared to simple arithmetic, then relationship-building would be differential calculus.

Benefits of quality relationships

The benefits of improved, quality relationships go far beyond “good feelings.” They often include:

  • Better mental health
  • Happier life
  • Healthier body
  • Less loneliness
  • Less stress
  • Longer life
  • Sense of accomplishment
  • Sharper mind

The reward of sharing our wise financial investments with those whose relationships we value is one of life's greatest (and possibly the most underestimated) joys!

John Sowada  grew up in Minnesota and worked there as a clergyman (1980-86) and then as a licensed psychologist before moving to Fort Worth in 2008, when he made the move from mental health psychology to peak performance coaching. John's office is located at 3880 Hulen Street, Suite 410, Fort Worth, TX 76107

CHALLENGE:  Spend a day practicing the three key ways to convey respect and let me know your experience (in the form below).