Workplace Relationships Can Make You or Break You

Workplace Relationships Can Make You or Break You

WorkplaceRelationships copyTypically when a work relationship spins out of the positive and into the negative a process I call “The Three R’s” has been present in some way.
There are a multitude of things that can inhibit your personal and professional growth, which by the way will also do even more damage to your business “The Three R’s” that we all run from time to time, is the worst.

“The Three R’s” is a little ditty that we all run in our emotions from time to time. Some of us run the program almost constantly thinking we’re winning the race of growth when in truth just the opposite is happening. The end result of running the “The Three R’s” can do serious damage to you and your business.

The “The Three R’s” is just this, First there is Resentment, then Resistance and finally Revenge. The hard truth is when you’re running the “The Three R’s” which is an emotional program, you feel good. You feel like you’re justified and you feel like you’re winning.

The “The Three R’s” is usually triggered to run when you feel you’ve been wronged in some way.

  • The first R is Resentment – which is any negative emotion towards any person, place, thing, condition, circumstance, thought or idea.
  • The second R is Resistance – defined by the withholding or withdrawal of any of your resources, potential, gifts, talents or positive expressions.
  • The third R is Revenge – the process or desire of making another person feel your pain in some way, in any way.

This emotional energy follows the laws of the universe. Energy can’t be created or destroyed if it’s snuffed out in one place it shows up in another. Energy gets expressed and in this case it shows up either in our physical body or in our results.

As the author and speaker, Les Brown says, “Most people aren’t overweight because of what they’re eating. They’re over weight because of what’s eating them.”

One of the areas that is, I think, most susceptible to running a “The Three R’s” is in pricing of your services. In your heart of hearts you want to make sure you’re affordable and at the same time you must generate enough income to make a living.

If you charge too little for your services, at some point you will most likely begin to feel you’re providing more value than you’re being paid for from your client. You’re client forgets “the deal” you made them in the beginning of your agreement.

When you run “The Three R’s” you begin to resent your client and as “The Three R’s” plays out , as it always does, you begin to cut back on your efforts, services, or deliverables. As this happens, your client begins to notice and feels slighted. You can see how this begins to spin out into a “not good” situation.

When your “Three R’s” is running it is a clear indicator that you have assigned the responsibility of the process and repercussions of your thoughts, your actions and thereby your results to something other than yourself.

When the “The Three R’s” is running in you it’s as if your creed is “whose the matter with me today.” As my friend and mentor, Paul Martinelli says, “If other people can make you sad, glad or mad… you’ve been had.”
Now that you’ve been introduced to “The Three R’s” let’s talk a little about another helpful concept called Relationship Balancing.

Relationships are a powerful factor in contributing to an individual’s success. We all want to know the secrets of building healthy workplace relationships. Yet so many become involved in negative situations at the workplace which drain their energy, enthusiasm and success. Relationship balancing shows how to turn all this around.

Relationship Balancing: What Is It?

Relationship Balancing is the natural flow of energy, support and enthusiasm that develops between individuals who are interacting positively. When this flow is balanced individuals become able to fully tap their potential, inner resources become available and work proceeds optimally. When this flow is blocked an energy drain occurs, resentment develops and success is impeded on many levels.

Are Your Relationships In Balance?

To start the process of relationship balancing take a close you at your workplace relationships. At times of pressure or during difficulties most individuals “react” automatically to those they are working with. Automatic “reactions” are one of the greatest obstacles to positive energy flow. A response as opposed to a reaction is a thoughtful, measured constructive response to what is going on. It is driven by goals and values, not by automatic impulses. It allows us to stop reacting and take charge of what is going on.

Examine each workplace relationship carefully. Assess exactly what you want from this person. What is the function of this relationship in your life? What effect is the relationship presently having? As you do this, you are putting a stop to automatic, knee jerk reactions and channeling your energy and resources.

Activity – Discover Your Personal Relationship Balancing Quotient

List each individual you interact with. Place a score next to each person’s name. Each person will be scored from 1-4.

(1 – not at all; 2 – somewhat; 3 – moderately; 4 a great deal)

a)Each of these individuals are a positive force in my life.
b)I feel at ease with this person.
c)I trust this person.
d)I communicate naturally with this person.
e)I understand what they’re communicating to me.
f)I am able to ask this person for what I want from them.
g)I am able to give this person what they want from me.


7-12 Quotient is A1 – Unbalanced
13 –17 Quotient is A2 – Moderately Unbalanced
18- 22 Quotient is A3 – Moderately Balanced
23-28 Quotient is A4 – Well Balanced

Be clear about how balanced or unbalanced a relationship is. This clarity is an important step to making the corrections needed.

Common Sources Of Relationship Imbalance

Source 1 – Casting Blame.

It is easy and often natural to blame others for our own difficulties, failures, mistakes or lack of self-esteem. Sometimes we feel the other is diminishing us, or trying to take something important away. However, by blaming another for your own difficulty, you are disempowering yourself. Take a look at your part in difficult situations. See new ways you could possibly respond.

Source 2 – Holding Onto Resentment.

When we refuse to let go of the wrongs we feel have been done to us, resentment builds and inevitably effects successful outcomes. Resentment cast upon another must also inevitably bounce back upon ourselves. This leads to an unwillingness to communicate and to generalized stress and anxiety. One of the greatest skills we can develop is to learn how to let go of resentment on the spot, the sooner, the better.

Source 3 – Holding onto unrealistic hopes and expectations of the relationship.

Expectations are an enormously important factor in obstructing workplace harmony. When the images, dreams or expectations we have of another are different from the reality of how they are behaving, we become hurt, angry and often withdrawn.

The same happens in connection with expectations we hold of ourselves. Some are always failures in their own eyes and believe others feel that way as well. It is enormously important to determine what our expectations are, (both of others and ourselves) and whether they are congruent with our present situation and realistic.

Activity – Creating Your Own Relationship Blueprint

List the people you are in relationship with at work. Honestly list your expectations of them, what you hope for or imagine. Also write down what you expect of yourself in each relationship. Then write down what is actually going on now, and how you feel about it.

So often we are responding to expectations we have that have nothing to do with the reality of the present situation. To overcome this, become very clear about the purpose of this relationship. Are your expectations appropriate? Are you projecting feelings from another time, person or situation onto this individual? Look at the picture with clear eyes.

Discard expectations that are unrealistic. This immediately releases enormous tension and anxiety and permits balance to be restored. New lines of communication open naturally.

Now create your own relationship blueprint. Create a new vision for the relationship based upon what is happening now, and what is the best for both of you. Blueprints have power. They assist us in taking charge of what we are experiencing, correcting distortions and negativities and replacing it with what we want. In this way we keep track of where we are, who we are with, and what it is that is truly appropriate constructive in this time at this place for all concerned.

Take the time to make sure your workplace relationships are functional. It’s worth it!

Jack Signature


B3 – Be Bold, Brilliant and Boundless!









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