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3 Keys to a Healthy Relationship

May 25, 2021

If given a chance to reflect on their life before they die, most people would think about the relationships they had with other people. Not their bank account. Not their home. Not their business. Their relationships. And their contributions and impact those they have a relationship with.

As dry cleaning owners, we have a lot of opportunities to start, develop, and contribute to all kinds of relationships. We get to decide which relationships we cultivate and grow and which we do not. On how deep to go in our relationships. Is a relationship transactional – like the gas station attendant? Or is a relationship much deeper like a husband and wife? 

We learn most of how we should act in a relationship by modeling the behavior of people we trust, especially growing up as children. We really don’t learn it in school. We usually don’t learn it in our first job unless we are forced to. So the reality is that most people get it wrong. And very few people get it right.

There are 3 key feelings someone must have to consider a relationship healthy and prosperous. The person must:

  1. FEEL appreciated
  2. FEEL important
  3. FEEL included

It is not how you make them feel. It is not how you tell them to feel. It is HOW THEY FEEL about these three things. You get to decide what relationships you put effort into, but the other person gets to decide if they feel appreciated, important and included.

And here’s the kicker – when a relationship ends, it is always because one person did not feel one or more of these three things. That relationship could be a: 

client & business owner, husband & wife, teenage child and parent, team member and team leader, or just a couple of friends. 

For your core relationships, it is critical to your growth to regularly think about if you FEEL these 3 things and if the other person in the relationship FEELS these 3 things. Talk about it openly, have them grade you from 1-10 on each thing, and then explain how he/she decided on that number. And then you do the same in return. 

As a business owner, you need to go out of your way to proactively make sure your team members and top 20% of clients FEEL appreciated, important, and included. If you don’t know, ask them. That can be really easy by using or other survey software. 

Instead of talking about the weather, sports, or politics….. dive deeper. Ask the tough questions. So you can improve in the relationships that are important to you. Simply Ask:

  1. Do you feel appreciated by me?
  2. Do you feel important to me?
  3. Do you feel included in my life?

A Welcome Gift for either new team members or new clients can set the stage for a healthy relationship. A team or client newsletter can open up you, your family, and how you think about things to those you work with.

Random Acts of Kindness, weekly meetings, date nights (even with your children), just checking in, quarterly reviews, goal setting, and honest communication all build appreciation, importance, and inclusion. Teach everyone you know about these things by always trying new ways to invest in your relationships. 

My parents, teachers, and first boss only taught these things on the surface, and it was always a behavior correction. Not as a reflection of how someone else feels. Invest in your relationships…..

That is why the richest people are those who have a healthy, growing NETWORK in addition to a growing NET WORTH. True worth is measured by the positive impact and contribution you have on others in your relationship circle. And it is measured by how the other person feels.

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