What we Learned at Creators Club about Building Relationships
A few minutes of mindfulness go a long way
As at every Creators Club event, this month’s session on Building Relationships started by spending a few minutes practising mindfulness and intention-setting. This is a great tip for attending or running any event – just pausing for a moment and making sure that you’re fully present will help you get the most out of it.Give it a try next time, it can make a huge difference – especially if you’re a bit of an introvert or you find networking overwhelming.
For the networking part of the session, we discovered a great alternative to swapping traditional business cards. Collaboration cards are a much more creative and fun way to get to know each other. We filled in cards with three different sections:
- What do you make or do?
- What do you need help with?
- How can you support others?
Such a simple idea and so effective!
What is a relationship?
Our ice-breaker exercise was a really thought-provoking one this month. How would you explain to a small child the concept of a relationship, using just a couple of Post-it notes? Everyone in the team came up with completely different ideas and metaphors that we all found intriguing. They made us think what relationships mean to us as humans and how to respond and interact with someone who is different to us. Something we can all apply at home or at work.
How can we help each other?
To get into the topic of the evening, we spent a couple of minutes having one-to-one conversations to help each other with challenges we face around relationships. We spent some quality time with other Creators to brainstorm how we could get better at building strong and long-lasting relationships, whether in our personal or business lives.
Relationships are complicated!
The speaker at this month’s event was CambridgeSpace member Jim J Doyle. As a healer, coach and mentor, Jim is well qualified to talk about building relationships. He started by asking us how much stress relationships cause us in our day-to-day lives and went on to explain that relationships are complicated because we often don’t understand what’s going on.
What’s the most important part of a relationship?
It’s listening! When you’re meeting new people at a networking event, it’s important to pay attention to the other person and truly listen to them.At another event a couple of weeks ago, we’ learned there are two different ways people listen – listening to respond and listening to understand. From our school years we’re used to listening to respond because teachers often asked us follow-up questions and we had to be prepared to answer their questions. But in business and life in general, it’s much more valuable to listen to understand.
If you’re not sure if your conversational partner listens to understand or to respond, just ask them. Ask them how they understood what you just said. Ask them to repeat in their own words what they think this conversation is about. By doing this you’ll know if they truly listened to you with the intent to understand and if your message has been received correctly. And if not, it’s better to know straight away so you can try again and explain a bit better!
Relationships aren’t just with people
The last part of Jim’s talk focused on relationships with other aspects of our lives like food, water, money, events and even objects. All these relationships affect our lives on a daily basis and it’s important to be aware of them.
Put yourself and your energy first
One of the main take-aways from the evening was that we are all responsible for our own energy and we need to learn how to manage it. No one owns your energy and you shouldn’t allow anyone to own it. Remember to always put yourself and your energy first (remember the safety instructions you’re given on a plane to put on your own oxygen mask before trying to help others). You won’t be able to build and maintain relationships if you don’t have any energy left!
If you couldn’t make the Creators Club event you can still watch Jim’s talk on Facebook.
Our next event on 10th July is all about Conscious Creators and how they’re driven by three themes of people, planet and profit. Visit the Eventbrite page to find out more about the event and get your tickets. Hope to see you there!