The fast life and its impact on relationships
Content provided by a guest contributor.
No one can question the immensely positive impact technology has had on business and our lives. Communication is faster and easier. We can access information quicker. We can reach others more easily. Etc. There are amazing advantages for all of us.
Relationships are being affected both positively and negatively. We can quite easily identify how relationships are benefiting, so let us rather explore some of the areas we need to focus on more closely:
- With life being faster some of us are becoming more driven and task orientated. This may mean that we are less concerned about how we interact but just focus on problems or issues. We feel pressure to deliver or perform due to clients who have easy access to us through emails and sms. We may feel hounded – as if there is someone checking on us all the time and wanting feedback. We may become abrupt or irritated both with clients as well as our employees – and our family members!
- We may also react too quickly with an sms back to the other person – giving our initial, often emotional reaction
- We could find that we become stressed and anxious – as if we are being managed the whole time
So HOW do we go about ensuring our relationships are sustained?
- Firstly, we need to remain aware of the fact that all business is about people. Unless we take time to nurture our business and work relationships we will have ongoing challenges. Certain industries eg retail, have a reputation for not being people friendly, but only bottom-line driven. And yet where would they be without us consumers? So first and foremost we need to remember that people bring us business and so our relationships come first.
- Linked closely to this is our relationship with our employees. Unless we invest in our employees and get to know them and develop them we will continue to have high staff turnover which will impact on our service delivery to clients. After all who is doing the work? Our employees!
- The key issue is for us to be aware of how we are responding to “the fast life”. When we are aware of how we react, it places us in a better position to try a different strategy, e.g. very analitical or driven people may become more task orientated and focus less on people. They will become even more analytical (or critical) or controlling. Easy going people may become more relaxed and indecisive. Very chatty people may become more scattered and unfocussed.
So take time to see what is happening to you in this fast life and how you are reacting to all the external pressures. What “pattern” is developing and how do you want to change this?
How about consciously slowing down and taking time to think before you react?
Article written by: Linda Germishuizen - Executive, Career and Life Coach