Pearls of Wisdom: Secret to enriching human relationships

We cannot have ‘theories’ for everything-especially for getting along with people. No blueprint can give us a preplanned design to organize our lives with other people. Human beings are unique; perhaps somewhat illogical

Are there any special principles that govern these relationships?

How does one understand the nature of all relationships?

We cannot have ‘theories’ for everything- especially for getting along with people. No blueprint can give us a preplanned design to organize our lives with other people. Human beings are unique, perhaps somewhat illogical and definitely un programmable!

Each one of us is sensitive; each one of us is different and each one of us is constantly variable our mood and temperament change from day to day, maybe even from hour to hour! And yet we have evolved into a society, into a community, into a global habitat with families, institutions and corporations. This has been possible with time, a growing sense of awareness and a great deal of understanding, tolerance, sympathy and mutual respect.

Focus on people’s merits and strengths

The great Prophet of the Baha’i faith, Bahá’u’lláh, said to his disciples again and again, “If you find that there are nine vices and only one virtue in your neighbour, forget the nine vices and focus only on the one virtue.”

This is the secret of an understanding heart. See only the good in others. When we focus on others’ faults, we only draw those negative forces unto ourselves.

Fault-finding, constant criticism and magnifying the mistakes of others are poor, ineffective ways of changing the world.

A sunny temperament and a healthy sense of humor can do wonders for you.

Try a smile or a kind word-you will find that wrongs are easy to set right and ‘wrongdoers’ are set back on the right track!

Are you listening?

If you wish to enrich your relationships, learn to be a good listener.

Let the other person talk and prove his point to his satisfaction. Do not interrupt him while he is talking-even if he is your subordinate. Don’t you feel exasperated if someone interrupts what you are trying to say?

“Please let me finish!” are the words uttered most frequently at committee meetings. Listen more, talk less.

We were made to listen: that is why God has given us two ears and only one mouth. If we had been given two mouths on either side of our heads and just one ear on our faces, how funny we would look! Be a good listener, therefore, listen not only with your ears but with your heart. Menfolk, especially bosses and husbands, need to work on their listening skills.

Appreciate others

It was William James who said that the deepest need of a human being is the craving to be appreciated.

Praise helps people to reinstate their own self-esteem. This, in turn, makes them enthusiastic about what they are doing, they find it worthwhile to achieve targets.

Bonuses, perks and material benefits alone, are not enough to retain people in an organisation and keep them motivated. We need to realize that people’s sense of self-worth and dignity are high-value assets that need to be protected.

For those of us who are always worried about additional expenses, it is good to know that appreciation will make no dents on the pocket, and one can freely use it anytime, anywhere. A research carried out among young MBA students at a premier institution in India, found that the freshers valued appreciation more than a fat paycheck.

A manpower consultancy firm found that 58% of the employees they interviewed in a metro city, said that they did not even receive a simple thank-you note for a job that was done well.

Be a friend

A true friend will never come in the way, unless you are on your way down! Every relationship is unique and special. Parents, spouses, children, family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, superiors, subordinates, employers or employees-every relationship needs to be nurtured with understanding and patience. The secret of successful relationships is to be found in an understanding heart. Preferably, your own.

By Dada JP Vaswani