“One of the greatest gifts you can give anyone
is the gift of attention.”
– Jim Rohn
Relationships are so important, and yet in many cases, they are casualties of our time compressed world. Attention is one of our key currencies today, rendering Jim Rohn’s quote above more relevant than ever.
But increasingly, people have less time for relationships. Over time this is damaging and hard to reverse when the damage is done. The Catch-22 is that we unknowingly neglect our closest relationships because we feel that those who know us the best will understand what we’re going through.
Until they don’t.
My focus here is on business relationships. When your schedule is so over-committed that you can’t maintain, let alone cultivate, key relationships, your effectiveness will deteriorate. It may be imperceptible at first, but one day the cumulative effect of the neglect will be painful. Here are some examples:
+ One of your top performing employees resigns. You are shocked because you assumed that all was well.
+ Your key service providers or vendors take their time returning your calls. After all, you’ve not paid attention to them, so why should they jump through hoops for you?
+ One of your most important clients fires you because in their eyes, you’ve been ignoring them. Ouch!
+ You sweep through a reception in record time at your most important professional association. Your colleagues label you as superficial and not worth getting to know.
+ Your peer leaders and managers don’t bother with you because it’s always about what you need, and you never take time to understand what’s keeping them up at night.
The message here is more about attention than large expenditures of time. Stop at someone’s desk to check in on how they’re doing. Call a client you haven’t seen recently. Check in with a peer leader to learn what’s new.
Relationships reinforce our humanity. Maintaining and cultivating them is enriching and rewarding. You don’t have to commit tons of time. Just pay attention.
Have a great day!