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WYLD Leadership: On Relationships

Consider all of the people in your life, and the unique relationships you have with each one of them. Partnerships, romantic partnerships, friendships, sibling ships, family ships, all the types of ships – no two are the same. But, the one constant is that in order to form relationships with others we must first have a solid relationship with ourselves. 

All relationships require communication, trust, and work in order to thrive – this includes your relationships with the people you work with. Think about it, you spend 40+ hours a week with your coworkers, wouldn’t it be ideal to get along with them?

Shantate J. Edwards is a WYLD Guide, Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at New York University, and a motivational speaker that believes everyone should live life courageously through bold action and take ownership of their story. Earlier this fall, Shantae met virtually with Getaway to talk about building healthy relationships in the workplace. Here are some of the key takeaways we learned from her. 

Begin with you.

It’s important to acknowledge the relationship you have with yourself. If you have a negative relationship with yourself, how do you expect others to have a positive one with you? Without self awareness we don’t know how we can serve ourselves, what we need and what we bring to relationships. 

Here’s how you can begin to understand the relationship with yourself:

Reflect. Self love, self compassion, self actualization, and self awareness causes an intimacy to happen internally, connecting you to who you are, when no one is looking. 

How are you showing up with you?
What are you saying to yourself?
What are you gifting yourself?

If you need a bit more help to self reflect, try writing a letter to your past self. Forgive yourself for things you didn’t accomplish – make peace with your past and forgive. Next, write a letter to your future self. Write about what you want for your future.

Identify your strengths. Think about all the things you’ve done in the past week – the people you helped, the work you accomplished.

What was slightly better than what you’ve done before?

What was slightly better than what someone else could have done?

What was easy and excellent for you?

We are all complex, unique, and multifaceted individuals. Ideally, we grow up encouraged to lean into what comes naturally, but when that isn’t the case, it becomes easy to lose sight of our innate gifts. Knowing your strengths you’ll be able to choose projects more effectively, perform your role better, have stronger relationships, and feel like you are growing and improving all the time.

Identify what you need. Now that you know what your strengths are, you can more easily identify what you need from your co-workers. Do you perform best when you receive positive feedback? Share that. If you crave constructive feedback but need to receive it in a certain way – like getting a heads up in advance that it’s coming – share that as well.

Being clear on what you need is an important step towards consistently being in your power. If you don’t protect your time, talent, or territory, you’re likely to feel depleted and won’t perform at your best. 

A few other ways to get to know yourself on a deeper level:

  • Take a solo walk in nature and notice what lights you up — which of your 5 senses feels the loudest? What does that tell you about yourself? How does this sense help you learn or grow, express who you are, relieve stress, share gratitude, experience pure joy, etc. and how can you lean on it more in your day-to-day?
  • Sit and reflect on your personal highlight reel — are there any common themes that come up in several of your best moments? What are you often recognized for? What specific talents can you identify? Any insights you can draw from the types of environments or circumstances that best set you up for success?
  • Journal about your personal values — what are your guiding principles that lead you through your day when it comes to the way you communicate, act, and show up? Where do these principles come from (ex. a childhood circumstance that made you want to act a certain way)? What does it feel like when those values are not honored and how do you recover? When and how would you like to share these values with others so they can best meet your needs?

Interested in connecting with a WYLD guide and exploring your strengths more? Email them at [email protected] to get your session scheduled and they will match you with a coach that fits your professional and personal goals. Mention promo code WYLD20 for 20% off (this includes a CliftonStrengths code to take the behavioral assessment). A coaching session with a WYLD guide will be tailored to your self development needs, whatever you lead… a business, a family, a team, or your own self through the day, gift yourself the time and space to reflect and grow.

Need an escape for some solo-reflective time? Book your Getaway today.

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