By Sadell Bradley

Great relationships are crucial to professional success. We know that Sadell…
I’m not referring to the surface networks we form at happy hours, our continual search for new clients, or even our general reputation in the community. I’m speaking of something a lot more personal: the relationship you have with yourself, with God or a higher power (if you believe in that), and your deeper relationships with friends, family and partners/co-workers.  

I don’t really concern myself too much with the thoughts or opinions of people I don’t know or care about.  They don’t detract from my performance, nor do they distract me from my purpose or goals. But let me be at odds with someone I love, or who is supposed to love me.  When there’s a conflict at the office, or a family dispute, my energy levels can drain like a wilting grain of grass in Phoenix heat.

Each month, I talk to entrepreneurs whose family members don’t understand, agree with, or support their business endeavors. There are conflicts over how much money is going out or (not) coming in. I hear about quarrels over how much time is or is not being allocated to the business, or to the family.  One family member is upset at having to carry more of the load than they believe they should.  How long will I have to support this dream of yours? When will the return come? Will we lose ourselves in the process?

The stress of starting a new endeavor is compounded by internal anxieties. Fear is about what’s imminent (e.g. a car crash), anxiety is about the future. Will I be good enough, strong enough, wise enough to make the right decisions at the right time? Will there be enough capital to start and maintain this venture? Will what I’ve always dreamed of doing come to fruition the way I’ve planned it? Will God or the fates favor my business? Will internal frustration or relational conflict derail everything I’ve worked so hard for up to this point?

I’ve noticed the difference in my own countenance when things are relationally good with everyone and when they’re not. It takes much more effort to focus when our minds become so preoccupied with what’s wrong, and our hearts are broken because we don’t want it to be that way. Pride makes us delay reconciling situations. Some have difficulty recovering trust from wounds long-passed.

Self-care, and healing personal relationships promotes productivity.  Taking time out for meditation or prayer, journaling, and exercise helps us center, and cleanses our internal palettes of mental and emotional contaminants. Working to heal and restore broken relationships and preserve camaraderie is crucial to maintaining profitable environments at home and in business.  Each relational subsystem that we are a part of will either enhance or diminish our efficiency and fruitfulness. Why not invest some time and effort this week into ensuring that your relationships are not depleting you, but boosting your performance.