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Over the years, I have learned some critical lessons around investments and have gained the experience and confidence to become successful in especially risky investments.
One of the most important investment leadership strategies I have learned though is about people and relationships.
In life and leadership, you can only go so far without proper and balanced investments in emotional capital.
Lessons I learned in this area started in leadership and eventually, I had an ‘ah-ha’ moment and began carrying the same lessons over into my personal life.
What an incredible difference that has made in my life!
It is just as important to know when to eliminate your investment to avoid unhealthy relationships.
What is Emotional Capital?
Emotional capital is a ‘currency’ held by two people in any relationship.
As with any investment, it is built over time and regularly exchanged between the two participants.
There are times of investing in capital, and there are times of withdrawal of money.
Think of your strongest and most sustainable relationships.
Whether you know it or not, the emotional bond and connection along with the strength of sustainability can be attributed to mutual investments of emotional capital.
Emotional capital is currency and relationship wealth.
Emotional capital is like money. The most sustainable investments are built slowly over time and exchanged at the absolute right times.
Sometimes you have more; sometimes you have less.
This market is just like any other wealth exchange market – it has its ups and downs. Wealth in a relationship builds when there is a relatively equal exchange of capital over time.
The more you look to the long term as opposed to reacting to the short term, the stronger and more sustainable your emotional capital investments become.
Emotional capital is finite and relative.
Like any currency, your emotional capital is limited. When you exhaust it through bad investments, you experience emotional burnout.
We have all been there and done that.
Although every relationship has emotional capital, the more time and experience you have in a relationship, the more trust you likely have in the relationship. The higher and deeper your confidence is the greater your wealth in the investment.
Do you see the trend here?
Every relationship is different, and there are intervals of inequality of emotional capital on either end of the relationship.
That is normal.
That is life.
However, if the inequality of investment continues for too long, unhealthy relationships develop. By the time it is time to sell your investment, you are already at a loss.
That is the law of economics and markets.
Emotional capital is critical to happiness, health, and success.
In business, the loyalty you build in leadership is a critical component to sustainable success.
In other words, in life, leadership and business, you cannot reach your real potential without investing in and nurturing relationships. It is impossible.
Because your emotional capital is a finite resource, how you invest it is critical to your success and happiness.
Here are ten rather simple but powerful ways to identify and eliminate toxic relationships in both life and work.
10. Surround Yourself with The Right People.
You are whom you surround yourself with! If your core values and goals are not aligned, it just causes dysfunction and chaos.
9. Define Your Success.
Success (however you define it, and there are many definitions) only comes with taking a risk.
Surround yourself with people who will truly support you when you fail, because eventually, you will fail.
There is no shame in failure with a healthy relationship. Toxic relationships (and leadership) will support you – but to fail again.
It is a critical indicator of who to include in your very inner circle.
8. Keep Perspective.
Keep those people close who give you the proper perspective and advice to mitigate the consequences of taking a risk.
7. Attract Opposites.
Keep close those individuals who compensate for your deficits. Distance those people who sanctify your deficits.
Toxic relationships will actively feed your deficits. Why? Your potential and success threaten them.
Find those that you can learn from and grow.
6. Avoid the Complacent.
Keep those people close to you who build you up and want you to succeed.
Distance those who would see you fail or are complacent about your success.
5. Distance Emotional Drainers.
Keep those people close to you who increase your emotional capital.
Distance those who continually drain your emotional capital.
Those who drain you leave you nothing to invest. You become ‘trapped’ in these toxic relationships.
4. Invest Wisely to Avoid Toxic Relationships.
Spend your emotional capital wisely and mutually – emotional capital is not only finite, but it is also expensive!
If you do not invest it properly, you will lose the people that you need to be successful, happy and healthy. Only the toxic relationships remain.
That will not turn out in your favor.
3. Focus on Quality Relationships – Not on Quantity.
If there is a persistent deficit in what you are investing versus what you are gaining, don’t invest as much emotional capital in the person.
Quality has nothing to do with frequency of contact and time spent. Proper measurement of your investments is quality over quantity. Some of the most toxic relationships involve constant contact, especially in corporate culture.
2. Listen to What You Need – Not What You Want.
Keep those people close who will tell you what you NEED to hear.
By never heeding the former and only hearing the latter, you will never grow. Getting the information you NEED is especially critical as a leader. People in toxic relationships become fed by hearing only what they want – especially the controlling micromanager.
1. Confrontation is Good and Necessary.
Confrontation gets a bad rap.
It does not mean ‘fighting.’ Confrontation is about compromising to meet the needs of both people in the relationship.
Confrontation is critical to sustainable, healthy and valuable relationships.
Some of these have been extremely hard lessons to learn, but the hardest lessons are the most impactful in the overall scheme of life and career. Relationships are key to your happiness and success in both life and career. Be sure to invest in the healthy ones and continuously look to eliminate the toxic relationships that inevitably happy in life.