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5 Foundations Every Successful Relationship Needs

5 Foundations Every Successful Relationship Needs

Having a happy and successful relationship can be a struggle.

It seems that all too often, our relationships go downhill over time, and we are left to wonder “why can’t things just be the way they used to be?”.

Foundations are the key to maintaining all the goodness in your relationship. They will determine the quality and success of your relationships years down the track.

“A house must be built on solid foundations if it is to last. The same principle applies to man” – Sai Baba

If you use the following foundations in your relationship, you will have an incredibly long-lasting, happy and successful relationship.

1.   Laugh together

Laughter is a very powerful thing!

Did you know that laughter is even used as a form of therapy? This is because it has such a positive effect on us.

When you laugh with your partner, it shows that you enjoy each others company, feel positive towards one another and actually “like” each other.

“It is impossible for you to be angry and laugh at the same time. Anger and laughter are mutually exclusive and you have the power to choose either”. – Wayne Dyer

That’s right, laughter is a choice! And it involves choosing to feel happy towards each other, and not angry or negative.

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All too often you see couples who are never happy when they are together. They have become frustrated and are used to each other. And sadly, they lose the excitement and the appreciation they once shared for each other.

If you can relate to this, and would like to bring life and joy back into your relationship, then chose laughter.

Choose to make your partner laugh at least once a day.

If you want to, you can even think of it as relationship therapy, since laughing is a real form of therapy!

2.   Know each others love language

Did you know that we all have different love languages?

Love languages are the different ways that we all communicate and understand love.

Your love language and that of your partner can be as different as Chinese and English!

So it is absolutely essential that you learn your partners love language.

“We must be willing to learn our spouses love language if we are to be effective communicators of love” – Dr Gary Chapman

Here are the 5 different love languages:

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  • Words of affirmation
  • Quality time
  • Receiving gifts
  • Acts of service
  • Physical touch

We all have one or two major love languages.

Here is an example of the importance of understanding your partners love language:

  • If your love language is physical touch, a kiss will speak louder than 1000 words – but,
  • If your love language is words of affirmation, one kind or affirming word will speak louder than 1000 kisses

You might be showing love to your partner in every way that you know how and still, they might be telling you that you don’t love them enough. Well, it’s no secret anymore! You need to learn their love language.

3.   Understand love as an action

As you can probably tell from the above point, love is an action.

Love is understanding how your partner feels loved, and then doing it.

People often think that love is a feeling, and that once the feeling disappears – there is little hope for their relationship.

Well it’s absolutely not true!

“Love is a verb. Love – the feeling – is a fruit of love, the verb” – Stephen Covey

This quote shows us that “feeling in love” is just as much of a choice as “Loving as an action”.

When you choose to love your partner (even if they didn’t do anything to deserve it), you are showing them real love. Love, that is unconditional and that does not rely on them loving you first.

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If you view “love as a feeling”, you will both be waiting and waiting – and you still won’t “feel it”.

So understand love as an action and a choice, and then do it! You will have an incredibly happy and fulfilling relationship because of it.

4.    Don’t cross the line

This is one of the most important things to remember for a happy and successful relationship.

There are certain things that we never want to say or do to our partner. These are things that you would consider “crossing the line”.

Maybe for you “crossing the line” means:

  • Losing your temper
  • Yelling or screaming at your partner
  • Saying I hate you
  • Saying something unkind to your partner
  • Using manipulation to get what you want
  • Going to sleep while being angry at your partner
  • Not saying sorry when you know you should have
  • Getting aggressive towards your partner
  • Bringing your partner down because you were angry

These are all damaging things for a relationship, but if you ask any child “Do your parents do any of these things” most of them would probably say yes to a number of them.

My theory is – that once you “cross the line”, it becomes easier and easier to do it again and again.

You might not like to do those things but in the heat of an argument – if you have already said “I hate you” once before, it becomes a LOT easier to say it again.

If you want a happy and successful relationship, try really hard to not “cross the line”.

Your relationship will be so much better off for it and you will stand a better chance at actually “liking each other” years down the track.

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5.   Apologize often

We all make mistakes. We all say and do damaging things to our relationship.

We are simply human.

Successful relationships rely on us admitting when we are wrong and then moving past it.

Apologizing makes the process of moving on 1000% times faster and easier.

When we don’t apologize when we know we should, we are being proud.

Love is not prideful.

“In general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes”  John Ruskin

To have a successful relationship, apologize often – so that you don’t make the mistake of being proud.

Well, that’s it for the 5 foundations every relationship needs to have. If you use these foundations, the chances of having an incredibly happy, long-lasting and successful relationship will increase astronomically. Good luck!

Featured photo credit: @Depositphotos.com/gpointstudio via depositphotos.com

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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