It is amazing how we often seem to excel at the cognitive level and fail miserably in execution. Or we may ruthlessly succeed at execution also, and fail miserably when it comes to having meaningful relationships. I suspect this is the main reason why we like to analyze, dichotomize and maintain a separation between “work life” and other aspects of “personal life”. I don’t think it is because we are incapable of living and working holistically. We do have the knowledge, and we need a lot of help with the implementation. Most of the time we fail because we fail at relationships in one area of life. Nobody likes to fail, so we call our failures “challenges” or dress them up in some other useless terms. We hide our skeletons in the proverbial cupboard, not realizing that the stench will still emanate from the slowly decaying marrow. Hiding the fact does not obviate the need for us to maintain healthy relationships.
Often, relationships fail because there is insufficient quantity time. The amount of quantity time does not have to be very much, but it has to be sufficient, and that varies from person to person, whether in personal or business relationships. I exclude “quality time” because any time spent developing good, healthy relationships ought to be quality time. Why else would you choose to spend that time? If it isn’t quality, you’ve just wasted a part of your life that can never be recovered.
Herein lies the secret. We need to be there for people. We certainly cannot be there for the rest of the world, but we had better be there for people who matter. Family members. Clients. Customers. Associates. To do that, we need to be very judicious about how we spend our time and with whom. We need to be decisive about who gets how much of our time and how often. We need to understand that we need to make ourselves available. We need to realize that a lot of the hype about “Me time” is simply the result of failed relationships that we have not invested enough in. Emotional intelligence is always present in good relationships. It is the result of deliberate giving, not because we happen to be emotionally intelligent, which to me is an oxymoron.
So. Have you decided to “Be there”? Are you here?