Life Coaching Tip: Don’t let your past prevent lasting relationships at work

Every great business person knows that the most important pillar of success lies in generating powerful relationships with other professionals, both inside and outside the firm.

So, first and foremost, how can you turn your relationships around at work, so that you actually feel like your job is your “daily fun adventure?” How can you feel empowered to create mutually beneficial relationships with colleagues that seem less than loveable?

This may not seem so simple, but it really boils down to you. It is simply your perception and communication. In other words, it requires you to take complete responsibility for your thoughts, words, and actions. You can create partnerships with people by listening and speaking to them from a place of agreed upon expectations and mutual respect.

So often, we go into autopilot when we engage and relate to others. We allow others to push our buttons. These “buttons” actually represent negative experiences and patterns from our own past. We often live inside those old judgments and assessments of people as if they are true in the current experience, without regard to the truth.

Then, what is the truth? Actually, it’s whatever you want it to be! It’s however you choose to see your reality as it exists in that moment.

If you relate to others through your same old opinions, assessment, perceptions, or judgments of them, you are absolutely going limit your relationship with them. This way of thinking keeps you “stuck,” because you will always force yourself to be right about how you think people are. If you think someone is speaking negatively about you and they don’t like you, your thoughts, words, and actions will reinforce this belief. On the other hand, if you see a colleague as someone who is smart, innovative, and listens and engages well with you, you will act accordingly.

How can you change yourself in order to transform those trying…and sometimes exhausting…relationships? Here are a few steps to get you started.

1) Build a foundation of trust. Keep your agreements and commitments with yourself and others. This is the basis for self-confidence. It also allows you to be viewed by others as goal-focused and a good team player.

2) Let go of the past as it relates to your views, opinions, and perceptions about how people are. Even if you have evidence of a past behavior you don’t like, let it go. You can’t change the past, so why drag it into the future? You will only create more of what you don’t want by feeling and subsequently acting in the same old way.

3) Make a conscious effort to change how you think and speak about others. You must take responsibility for your share of the relationship. As you change your thoughts, words, and actions, you will begin to see a shift in their words and actions towards you.

4) Be an effective listener, and don’t react immediately on emotion. Carefully choose your words when you respond. Be positive. If something bothers you about what was said, do not react! Say nothing at that moment. After you cool down, you can always go back and address a topic by choosing your words wisely so you can be heard. You can say anything if you say it in the right way. You must always come from a place of mutual respect.

5) Ask for help. Sometimes these things are easier said than done. So, consider seeking the aide of a coach for help. An unbiased individual can help guide you in transforming your relationships into something wonderful.

Whether it’s a co-worker, boss, or client, positive, respectful relationships are essential to a more enjoyable, daily fun adventure. Try it…I promise you will like the results.

Need help finding more joy and fulfillment in your life? Visit or call Mary Lynn Ziemer at (239) 498-7290. Ziemer is a Certified Master Life Coach, Business Consultant and Motivational Speaker with more than 30 years as a corporate executive at two Fortune 100 companies, and as an entrepreneur.
This article was submitted by a Guest Author of the Above Board Chamber.