Until 1954, the four-minute mile was something beyond human comprehension, and thus beyond human achievement. In May 1954, on an Oxford track, Bannister shattered this barrier, running the mile in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds – within three years, 17 other runners had also broken this record.
What happened in those three years? Was there a sudden growth spurt in human evolution? Was there a genetic engineering experiment that created a new race of super runners? No, the basic human equipment was the same. What changed was the mental model. The runners of the past had been held back by a mind-set that said they could not surpass the four-minute mile. When that limit was broken, the others saw that they could do something they had previously thought impossible.
Knowing how powerful mind-sets are – and knowing the potential impact and possibilities that are created when human beings change, adapt, and amend their mind-sets – my aim is to inspire you to get curious enough to begin to adopt what we have called a Relationship Mastery (RM) mind-set.
RM is a mind-set that will guide how we interact with each other, how we connect and form relationships, how we approach our businesses, how we decide what to prioritise and how we make choices. Having a RM mind-set will help to break the current unhelpful patterns of individual and organisational behaviour and help address the apparent contradictions in the way we work and the way that we talk about work.
RM mind-set is premised on the belief that we are all interconnected; that my interaction with you will leave a lasting impression and can build our relationship or break our relationship. With an RM mind-set you see yourself as being in relationship with everyone you are connected to – this significantly changes the way you think and behave.
At the heart of RM is the belief that successful relationships create successful businesses, schools, institutions and society. The mind-set plays beautifully to our natural human instinct and need to connect with others and make an impact.
With an RM mind-set it will be inconceivable that we would have to train people to understand the importance of customer care. Why? When people adopt an RM mind-set, people will see themselves in relationship with their customers and when you are in a relationship with someone, you treat them very differently – it means customer care is not a separate team but in the DNA of everyone.
As a line manager with an RM mind-set, the importance of honing my ability to work brilliantly with people becomes an inevitable priority for me. RM will make it inconceivable that conflicts fester in an organisation becoming costly and destructive. Why? Because people will see themselves as connected to others and will see resolving conflict as worth the investment of time to nurture the relationship.
With an RM mind-set people will get curious rather than defensive when there is conflict – people will be interested and think of great questions to find out what is happening to address the so-called “elephants in the room” – so that there will be regular “out an elephant” days at work……until they are extinct!!
As human beings we all have the need to connect – so there is naturally a good starting point for people to be able adopt a RM mind-set. And as anyone who has young children will know – we have to teach people the ways of thinking and behaving that enable good and effective relationships to be formed. So quite simply, RM is both a natural way of thinking for us and involves us constantly learning ways of interacting – which our experience of children shows us is both possible and achievable.
How would your day be different if you mastered the art of navigating relationships?