As a follow up to my previous blog, I thought some additional tips on building positive work relationships with others might be a good idea. One of the best I found came from a book entitled, Margin, by Dr. Richard Swenson. In the book he talked about increasing your emotional "margin" by spending time with the right kind of people. He suggests all of us have 3 types of people in our lives:
- Fillers: People who encourage and motivate us. They add to our emotional and mental energy by their words and behaviors toward us.
- Drainers: People who take away our mental and emotional energy by their negative attitudes, conversations and actions.
- People who just sit there. These people neither add nor take away our mental or emotional energy.
Now reflect on your typical work day. Who do you spend more time with? Drainers? Fillers? Dr. Swenson would suggest that if your day is spent with drainers, find opportunities to connect with some fillers-or at least those people who just sit there. If you are about to engage in some difficult conversations with some drainers-seek out some fillers prior to that conversation to give you the needed energy to deal with them more effectively. And certainly find some fillers once you tackle a difficult task with some drainers.
On a side note, don't always expect people to be the "fillers" for you. We're all busy and sometimes get too wrapped up in ourselves. A couple of my most consistent fillers are our two Labrador retrievers. They are ALWAYS ready to offer a little encouragement-even if it is sometimes served with a little too much enthusiasm.