It would be hard to imagine life without our plethora of different relationships, especially our closest ones such as our families, partners and friends. All of our lives are made up of interactions with other people ranging from our most intimate connections to interactions with the public at large in the societies and cultures where we live.
Essential in order to Survive & Thrive
From our birth, relationships are not just essential for us to survive but also to thrive! If it weren’t for the love, support and companionship we received from our parents or caregivers the chances of us living beyond our infancy would be slim to none, not to mention the other important purposes our early relationships serve in terms of our learning & development especially in regards to language, communication, cooperation and various other life skills not to mention social etiquette and education.
In fact, so important and cherished are relationships in many cultures, one of the harshest and cruelest punishments is to be separated or isolated from other people, this practice can even be observed in modern society through punishments such as solitary confinement in prisons.
As a result, having conscious relationships based on the four C’s of Caring, Communication, Commitment, Compassion as well as love, trust, mutual benefit & growth are not only desirable, but I would argue, are also essential if we are to live in harmony and evolve beyond our current level of consciousness.
Conscious Business Relationships
The same applies to our business and professional relationships. As a conscious entrepreneur it is not only advantageous but also makes life much more enjoyable and fulfilling when genuine, long-term and purposeful relationships are formed between everyone associated with the business (the stakeholders): founders, staff, contractors, customers, suppliers & the community. In effect it is a form of ‘interdependence’ or symbiotic relationship, whereby all who are involved with a business are in someway reliant on each other and benefit in some way. For this reason when there is a focus on ‘win-win’, everyone shares the fruits of joint positive outcomes, all parties walk away happy and the foundation is set for more beneficial interactions in the future.
Neglecting What is Really Important
One of the unfortunate side effects of industrialization and the constant striving for more profits, productivity and efficiency was that many companies started treating people like a number or viewing them only as a dollar sign with little regard to their feelings, respect for their best interests or care in terms of their customer/employee/supplier experience. As a consequence many corporations and big businesses got a bad reputation for being greedy, heartless, uncaring and reprehensible which soured many people’s perception and hence jeopardized people doing business with them again over the long term.
Relationships in the Information Age
Thanks to the power and reach of the Internet and ICT technologies, people can now connect with similar individuals all around the world. Social media has not only enabled the forming of new ‘virtual’ relationships and instantaneous communication but it also means companies and business people can no longer ‘get away’ with unconscious behavior & reckless actions as much as they used to. In a blink of an eye examples of bad customer service, poor product quality and unconscionable agendas can be exposed far and wide via the likes of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube! What was previously hidden or systematically ‘contained’ is now becoming public knowledge with the perpetrators now having no choice but to become more responsible and accountable for not only their actions, but also more importantly, their relationships.
Additionally, as many new conscious companies are being created, or existing ones evolve towards a more conscious model, unconscious companies now increasingly finding themselves with new conscious competitors, who their former disgruntled customers can now do business with. As a result ‘bad behavior’ does not ‘pay’ as much as it had previously! People always prefer to interact with and buy goods and services from other people and companies that they like and who they are confident will treat them well, not just at the time of the initial sale, but consistently and repeatedly going forward.
When there is harmony, there is balance. When there are harmonious relationships there are also positive feelings and a spirit of good will and gratitude prevails.