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Do you value psychological health and thriving relationships? If you do, then read on. Today I will discuss 5 easy (and impactful) ways to start being a relationship legacy leader right now (1). You might be someone who values strong relationships, but you would love some inspirational ideas where to start. Or maybe you are a manager or CEO who is looking for ways to connect with your employees. You might even be a parent looking for some tips for nurturing a healthy family.
To review or if you are new (welcome!), a relationship legacy leader is:
Someone who is committed to healthy relationships and emotional health for themselves, and also for the people around them. These progressive leaders deeply value thriving and resilient relationships, but are also keenly aware of the relational and emotional impact they have on other people: their partner or spouse, friends, relatives, co-workers, people in their community, kids, etc. These leaders know that in order to collaborate effectively, achieve the greatest growth, and to experience meaning and satisfaction out of life it takes growing our relationship and emotional skills. They intentionally seek out where they can make a difference, and make a conscious choice to do something positive. Whether the impact is on a few people or many, they know it all matters.
Seriously, whether your impact is mainly with your close family members or you are a CEO of a large company, it’s all important. What you do matters. The small steps and changes you make are significant, and can completely change your life and the lives of those around you. For example, can you think back to something that someone did or said that completely changed your life in a positive way? Was there a close friend, a coach, a mentor, or a teacher that had a positive impact on you? What did they say or do? That person made a personal choice to say or do what they did; it wasn’t an accident. You can make choices like that too.
5 easy ways to start being a relationship legacy leader right now:
1. Learn how to recognize and label different emotions within yourself. How many can you name?
2. Learn how to recognize and label when you are HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, and tired).
3. Be curious. Curiosity goes hand in hand with empathy, understanding, and eventually better choices and decisions.
4. Use the phrase “I’m glad you told me."
5. Fess up when you mess up—every time (for the rest of your life).
I hope the five ways to start being a relationship legacy leader inspired some ideas for you. I truly hope you can visualize where you can start making some simple changes. The ideas above are simple, but powerful when implemented.
There are so many reasons why I think being a relationship legacy leader is important, and why each of us doing our part is important. Today I will just mention one—as a way to change the culture of mass shootings and school shootings we are seeing in our country and across the world.
To me, as a therapist, I see these shootings as another reason why it’s important for all of us to take care of our mental health, to destigmatize mental health care, to destigmatize discussing feelings, and to encourage teaching our young kids about emotions (especially boys—they have been hurt for too long by shaming them for having feelings besides anger).
I don’t know about you, but when I see the news of another school shooting or a mass shooting, I feel heartbroken and devastated. Sometimes I even cry. I cried when I heard the news of the shootings at the two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
This week there was a school shooting at the University of North Carolina Charlotte (6). There are likely some important legal changes that need to be made, but what can we do right now (no matter where we fall on the political spectrum)? I believe that each of us, in whatever corner of the world we are in, can start to make a difference now—even on a topic as big as school and mass shootings. How? By being a relationship legacy leader in whatever corner of the world we are in.
Psychology is all around us. Our psychological and relationship health matters. Psychology is not a "soft science;" it's a vital science for the success of the human race. Viewing psychology as a "soft science" has been a massive blind spot for us, and has led to the denial of the importance of mental health and relationship health. The good news is, we can all do something, starting right now.
In summary, you can be a relationship legacy leader by:
1. Learning how to recognize and label different emotions within yourself.
2. Learning how to recognize and label when you are HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, or tired).
3. Being curious.
4. Using the phrase "I'm glad you told me."
5. Fessing up when you mess up—every time (for the rest of your life).
So, think about what we explored today. Have a discussion with people you trust about being a relationship legacy leader. Print out the article as a guide if that's helpful. Who do you want to start impacting positively? What is one small thing you can do right now? Do it. It matters. Remember that the people who positively impacted you made a personal choice to do so.
Please share if you are thinking of implementing one of these 5 ideas or if today's blog inspired you to make some changes. Looking forward to reading your comments.
Thank you for joining me today! If this post was helpful, please hit the Facebook Like button below or share the blog on Twitter.
Talk to you next week.
All the best,
Holly L. Harrison
References and Links
(4)Brown, B. (2018). Dare to lead: Brave work. Tough conversations. Whole hearts [Kindle SDK 6.0.1 version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com.
(5)Brown, B. (2018). Dare to lead: Brave work. Tough conversations. Whole hearts [Kindle SDK 6.0.1 version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com.
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Holly L. Harrison, MA, LMFT