4 Ways to Develop Meaningful Relationships at Work

No relationship is perfect all the time. But relationship challenges don’t have to be as painful as we often make them. Typically, these issues arise and persist because we’re too focused on what’s going wrong with the other person.

Lack of appreciation is the beginning of the end of many relationships.
— Greg Bell

When we’re so concentrated on what’s going wrong in our relationships, we’re less likely to be able to recognize What’s Going Well. Of course, then it’s a vicious cycle. When we see more of what’s going wrong with that person, they see more of what’s going wrong with us, and then… we see more of what’s going wrong with them. This endless negativity is bound to fracture any relationship.

While we can’t change how someone behaves, we can change how we perceive their behavior. And when we intentionally view the people we care about through What’s Going Well glasses, they’re more likely to live up to the What’s Going Well vision we have of them—and they’re more likely to reflect that positivity back to us, too.

Here’s how to implement a What’s Going Well mindset into your most meaningful relationships:

  1. Identify a relationship that means a lot to you, and write down everything that’s going well in it.

  2. Write about the qualities the other person has that you and others most admire.

  3. Write about positive experiences you’ve had with that person.

  4. Write about what you look forward to in the relationship.

If you don’t show appreciation to those you care about they will stop doing and being the person you appreciate.
— Greg Bell

If you feel comfortable doing so, you can take it a step further and express your gratitude to the person directly. According to positive psychology research, the person to whom gratitude is expressed feels wonderful (everyone wants to be appreciated!), and the person expressing gratitude does, too. It’s a win-win!

Spending time appreciating each other is one of the best indicators of a positive, healthy relationship. Plus, while you’re feeling good basking in the wonderful aspects of the person and the relationship, you’re strengthening your bond with that person, too.

Trade your expectations for appreciation and see how your relationships transform.
— Greg Bell