Love, exciting and new
Come aboard, we’re expecting you.
Love, life’s sweetest reward.
Let it flow, it floats back to you.
Songwriters – Fox Charles / Williams Paul H

How many of you just sang those words? If I’ve lost you, then quite possibly you’ve not experienced the pleasure of an afternoon sail with Captain Stubing, Isaac the Bartender and Julie the Cruise Director. (Good times from what feels like a lifetime ago, right?)

Since today is the first Thought Partner of February, a month where we celebrate Black History, inclusion and diversity, and love, I wanted to usher in this month by sharing a little love with you, that’s flowed back to me. 

Last month I had the extreme pleasure of presenting a 4-hour workshop on Intentional Leadership, to a very engaged group of leaders and senior executives at Environmental Solutions Group, in their gorgeous new home office, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. (Thank you for the hospitality, ESG.)

During our time together, one of the main topics we discussed was trust – trust within our relationships, both personal and professional. We focused particularly on when to build it, how to build it, how to measure it, and once measured, how to fix it if necessary. 

As mentioned, these leaders put in a full day of work, and we clearly can’t replicate that in just one Thought Partner; however, let’s explore a modified version of one of the activities we did together. 

If you feel it’s time to take stock of certain relationships, you may want to try this:

1. Make a list of 3 people (family, friends, colleagues, committee members you serve and sit with, etc…)

2. Look at the names you listed. If I asked you to rate your trust level with these three people, how would rate it? High-Level of trust? Marginal-Level of trust? Low-Level of Trust? 

3. If you asked those on your list to do the same, how do you THINK they would rate the trust level?

4. If you don’t know, it’s time to find out. If you’re unsure, it’s time to find out. If you’re not pleased with how you rated your trust level, it’s time to find out what you need to do to make the relationship function the way you need it to.

5. That was the easy part of the activity. The more challenging part is the next step. Pick one person from that list (or a new list now that you know where we’re headed with this) and trust yourself enough to approach them with openness and intention to realign the relationship.

There was clearly more to this Relationship Audit activity than what we have explored today, but you can do this exercise any time you feel you need to recalibrate where your relationships are landing and where you want them to fall on the relationship continuum. 

Trust yourself and trust that the response, that will float back to you, will be worth taking the voyage into uncharted waters. After all, Captain Subing always found a way to reroute back to the port safely. You can do the same.