The road to success has a lot of speed bumps. There will be hard times. There will be times when the risks you take fail. There will be times when the outside world doesn’t believe in you, or tries to hurt you. These are the times when you need someplace safe to come home to.
Your support system is that safe haven.
The key to creating and nurturing a good support system is having good communication skills, and developing good communication skills starts at home. It’s easy to fall into the trap of taking our families for granted. After a hard day we come home tired and just want to relax. We forget to pass on the common courtesies to our family that we’d give to a complete stranger—things like saying “please,” “thank you,” and “how was your day?” You can’t let this happen! The foundation for good communication skills starts at home and it starts with the little things. Treat your family right. That means, be polite and treat your family the way you want to be treated. Think beyond yourself and do what’s best for the family, not necessarily what’s best for you personally at that moment. Work at building your support system at home so you can fall back on it during rough times.
Always remember if you want to be heard, listen.
It’s a common misconception that having good communication skills means being able to speak well. Wrong! Listening is much more important. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Whether it’s your spouse, a friend, coworker, client, or competitor, you need to seek to understand before being understood. There are two reasons for this. First of all, people want to be understood. Once they feel you understand them, they will let their guard down and listen to you. Secondly, by listening and understanding you will have a better grasp of how to communicate what you have to say effectively.
In a way, all interactions with people are like negotiations; it’s not a time for you to preach, but rather a time for you to open up a two-way street, to create a dialogue. If you can listen, you can understand, and when you understand the other person, your job is then to communicate clearly what you have to say.
You can create and nurture a great support system by, treating everyone the way you wish to be treated and communicating effectively by find that healthy common ground where everyone can benefits the most.
Imperfect Action is better than No Action