Healthy relationships

Sustaining relationships contribute to your overall well-being and sense of feeling valued and cared for. They support without crossing your boundaries, fortify you emotionally, provide a place from which you can view the world in safety, offer opportunity to be yourself without criticism, light up your environment with their unqualified acceptance, offer strength to your spirit, lighten the burdens of life and enable you to move forward with hope. All sustaining relationship have certain characteristics in common:

  • Comfort and consistency allow for free flow of emotions.
  • Both the person and the feelings are valued.
  • Needs are met in a reciprocal fashion.
  • Listening is two-way and responsive.
  • Personal limits and boundaries are respected.
  • Reasonable expectations are met with reasonable support.

In sustaining relationships, people genuinely like and admire many of the qualities the other has. They are also very accepting of each other’s imperfections. A value in these types of relationships is to do what it takes to maintain and enhance the relationship. Self is secondary to the relationship. Ironically, the solidarity of the relationship enhances self.

Sustaining business relationship

Sustaining relationships can also be quite valuable in business. They can offer support, knowledge, connections and direction.

One element of sustaining relationships is especially important in business: boundaries for self and for others. This is needed for several reasons.

  1. In business, all relationships have an impact on the company.
  2. In business, the relationships should be primarily on an intellectual level.
  3. Certain protocols exist in business to ensure the recognition of power relationships and accountabilities.
  4. Fairness of treatment among employees can be jeopardised if boundaries and limits of relationships are not observed.

Professional networking relationships

Formal and informal groups are found in every profession. Unions, service organisations, and civic groups, as well as career specific organisations, all provide the potential for relationships and for professional support. Networking in this manner is not structured, but can be very valuable to help you move to new jobs or advance in your profession.

Before you get excited, you should limit your expectations from a relationships perspective. Everyone in the room is to either sell services or gain valuable information or leads from each other. The most successful people attending may offer you business or assistance that they can pass along without any real loss to themselves. However, in general, expect an all-business, though congenial, situation.

Adapted from

McKee, S.L. and Walters, B.L., 2002. Transition management: A practical approach to personal and professional development. Prentice Hall.

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