Recently I was shown an article that appeared in our local paper entitled “Goal-setting spells trouble for relationship” – and was asked to comment. The article was about a young girl who had been raised by her parents to set goals, work diligently at them, and realize success by achieving them.
The problem was that her boyfriend was not as goal oriented! In fact he did not set goals because he did not believe they would be met. Talk about a self- fulfilling prophecy!
The young lady felt that their relationship was in jeopardy because of their differing views on goal setting. She declared that she was not prepared to change, and felt that her boyfriend’s attitude would likely be a problem unless he changed.
To my mind there is no question that the road to success involves the formation of a vision – where you want to go; the development of a plan that will take you there; and putting that plan into action. Or as Mark Hughes has indicated in a recent sermon: you must perceive a vision or goal, pursue that goal, and persist until you have achieved your goal or vision.
But relationships are another matter! Successful relationships are built on understanding your own behavior, understanding the behavior of others, and adapting your own behavior to meet the needs of the people with whom you want to build a relationship. People are a lot like icebergs. What we see is what is above the surface. What we do not see is the about 90 percent of the iceberg that is under the surface, but which can determine what happens above the surface.
With people, what we see is their behavior. And driving that behavior, but hidden from us, are a whole lot of thinking and feelings, which in turn are driven by values and beliefs, which, in turn, are influenced by basic needs.
Tony Alessandra summed it all up in his Platinum Rule®, “Treat others the way they wish to be treated.” The degree to which we will be successful in our relationships, is the degree to which we can adapt our behavior to meet the needs of the persons with whom we wish to build a relationship.
So, basically, we are dealing with two things:
- How to achieve success
- How to build lasting relationships
And the two are often interrelated! In working to achieve our vision, or our goal, we need to build relationships with other people who can bring skills or strengths that complement our own. It is the manifestation of the old acronym for TEAM – Together we achieve more.
And as for our young couple; perhaps they could start with developing some mutual goals and working together to achieve those goals. But to work together successfully, they both must understand each other, and try to meet each other’s needs.
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