Part 3 in a series of 3
A new year is a good time to objectively assess your relationships and make a plan to grow them in the coming months.chromecast desktop We created this 3-part article series to help with the process of self-examination. Once you have taken stock of how you are using your own strengths (Part 1) and how you are valuing others’ strengths (Part 2), take some time to consider how you have been blending your strengths with those around you.
Take an Inventory of This Past Year
Each of us has to adapt to our environment. Part of your environment includes your family members and your co-workers. A key step in adapting is your willingness. Are you open to changing how you view others and yourself as you interact? Ask yourself:
- In what ways have I adapted my strengths to my family relationships in the last year?
- In what ways have I adapted my strengths to my work relationships in the last year?
- What is one thing keeping me back from being more willing to adapt in these relationships?
Take the Responsibility to Blend
It can be tempting to shift the responsibility to blend onto others, particularly when relationships are draining or simply strained. You may even choose to altogether avoid efforts to blend. Yet God urges Christ-followers to take the initiative to combine our strengths with those of our family, friends, and co-workers. Romans 12:8 says, “So far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (ESV). Your responsibility is especially keen when you have been made aware of your differences – and your strengths – compared with those around you. God calls you to embrace ways to use your strengths and encourage those around you to use theirs, too. If you are not aware of your strengths, consider completing a Leading From Your Strengths profile or other strengths tool. You can invite family members, friends, and co-workers to complete an assessment, too. Both you and others can use the resulting data to build your relationships and blend. Ask yourself:
- Of all my strengths, what are one or two I bring to my relationships at home – strengths that may be missing in my family members?
- Of all my strengths, what are one or two I bring to my relationships at work – strengths that may be missing in my co-workers?
- What is one step I can take in each of these environments in order to adapt more readily to the strengths of those around me?
Take the Initiative to Communicate
When you know the best ways that your spouse, family member, or co-worker communicates, then you can take specific steps to use the approach that works for them to solve problems, process information, manage change, and face risk. If others around you have completed a Leading From Your Strengths profile, ask to see their Do’s and Don’ts for Communicating. If not, you can simply ask them the best way they like to receive and share information. Ask yourself:
- Consider your relationship with a specific family member or co-worker. What is one way this person likes to receive information? What is one way this person likes to share information?
- What is one step I can take to give and receive information more effectively with this person?
- What are the best ways for others to communicate with you? Be ready to share when given the opportunity.
Looking Back and Looking Forward
As you look back and look forward, the question to ask is not, “How can others adapt to me?” Rather ask yourself, “How can I blend with others to build healthier relationships in the coming year?”