The secret of getting others to help you… because they want to. And for no other reason. Not because they were manipulated to help you. And not because they feel compelled to.
Are you transactional or transformational?
There are two basic types of relationships:
Transactional relationships are purely economic and functional. They’re based on exchange of money, goods, or services. They serve a very clear point. And when that point has been fulfilled the relationship ends.
Transactional relationships are important. They’re how you got the food in your fridge, the place you live, the clothes you wear, and most of the things you enjoy in your life.
However, when it comes to creating the deepest and most important connections, transactional mentalities won’t work.
The problem is, most people are transactional in their relationships. By very nature, transactional relationships are about getting the most you possibly can in exchange for as little as possible on your part. They’re all about you, and what you can get. Not about what you can give.
This may seem like stating the obvious?—?this isn’t how you develop powerful relationships with anyone. Let alone relationships with key collaborators or mentors who can take you to “the next level” and help you grow 100X or more.
Transformational relationships, on the hand, can start out as transactions. But they go far, far beyond the exchange of money, goods, or services. By very nature, transformational relationships are about giving the most you possibly can to help further the lives of others. They’re about advancing other people’s goals in win-win way?—?because you could do far more together than alone.
But transformational relationships go much, much further than that.
Your relationship isn’t transformational if it doesn’t change you. If you’re not getting better. And if there aren’t generous gifts given without compulsion.
Your relationship isn’t transformational if it’s primarily about you.
Your relationship isn’t transformational if you’re not creating a bigger pie?—?both for the relationship and all involved. But beyond that, your relationship isn’t transformational if you aren’t making the world a better place.
Your relationships aren’t transformational if you don’t truly love the people you’re with. If you aren’t genuine. If you’re not thoughtful.
Relationships are the key to life. Actually, relations between things are more fundamental than the things themselves.
Your computer isn’t objectively a computer. It’s a computer TO YOU. To your dog, that computer is a strange thing that makes an odd sound and has cool lights.
It’s the relationship BETWEEN you and your computer that IS THE REALITY.
Context = king.
Relationships = THE ONLY REALITY.
Sadly, most Western thinkers believe ‘things’ ARE THE REALITY.
When relationships are the reality, you prize people far more deeply. You value the deep meaning you get from the relationship. You’re far more intimate, honest, and caring. You’re far more likely to express gratitude, and to share your voice. And to stand up for those you love. Because the relationship is everything. It’s not something you just cast aside. It’s not merely a means to an end.
Do you view your people as objects or people?
If objects, the relationship is a transaction. A means to an end. Not THE REALITY.
If you view people as people, then the relationship is the reality. The end. True transformation can occur.
They Are Based On Giving And Grace
Failures and mistakes are one of the fastest ways to determine if a relationship is transactional or transformational. If transactional?—?there isn’t much room for conflict, messiness, mistakes because the relationship doesn’t have a foundation of loyalty, trust, and protection.
Have you ever had anyone who, despite your poor behaviour, has gone the extra mile, guided you, been there for you, reminded you of who you really are. The teacher who saw your spark and gave you the extra focus and time, the mentor who knew how much you could achieve if you could just grasp a sense of your own strength …
Those gifts of grace?—?the ones you could never earn?—?are the one’s that can transform and teach you the most.
There Is No Score Keeping
In transactional relationships?—?everything is tracked and measured. The loyalty card that gives you money off for every x £s you spend?
Transactional relationships destroy intimacy. It’s just business. The relationship IS AN ITEM. The MEANING is the transaction. Nothing deeper. Nothing more.
In transactional relationships, there are always constant reminders of what’s been sacrificed for this relationship. There are reminders about all the missteps the other person has made.
Nothing is simply given just because. Every “gift” is remembered and there’s an expectation of quick reciprocity or else.
As a coach I choose to work with people who spark my interest, with whom, I truly believe I can share a transformative relationship. I’m not keeping track of the time being spent because I get something back, I learn, I feel joy. I’m willing to spend a few extra minutes, or more. Because the relationship really matters. Even if coaching relationships start in a transactional manner, we soon connected deeply. We start serving and helping each other. I’ve lost count of the inspirations I’ve had in the service of others, I genuinely care.
Everyone Feels Protected
Mark Eaton, recently wrote an important book called THE FOUR COMMITMENTS OF A WINNING TEAM. The fourth commitment is that every person on the team or in the relationship needs to feel protected.
When people feel protected, they’re willing to share what’s on their mind. They’re willing to fail. Because they know that the other people in the relationship has their back.
When a person doesn’t feel protected in a relationship, they don’t speak up. They don’t share what’s on their mind. They don’t take risks. Instead, they pander to the relationship. They don’t act in their power. They act as a victim.
Transactional relationships won’t protect you. If you don’t show up how you’re supposed to show up, you’re not protected. Instead, you’re rejected.
In transformational relationships, you have lots of protection.
Who do you protect?
Whose protecting you?
Do you feel safe being yourself? Or, are your relationships on a thin sheet of ice? And if you make a wrong move, a huge crack will shatter your foundation and you’re going down?
According to Eaton, feeling protected is the key to doing invaluable work. Because you can’t do your best work without the love, help, and support of others.
Similarly, you become invaluable in your relationships when others feel protected by you. When they feel they can be honest. Where they know you’ll be there for them to pick them up if they fail. That level of trust allows them to go big in their lives. What a gift you’ve given them.
What a gift they’ve given you.
Others Are Given Credit For Your Success
“Self-made is an illusion. There are many people who played divine roles in you having the life that you have today. Be sure to let them know how grateful you are. Example: the person who introduced you to the person who introduced you to your spouse or business partner or client. Go back that far.”?—?Michael Fishman
Tim Poulson is a brilliant strategist. He said, “You can pay people in other ways than money.” One of the best ways you can pay them is by giving them credit.
Credit for the connection.
Credit for the idea.
Credit for helping you when you couldn’t help yourself.
Adam Grant says there are “Givers” and “Takers.” Some people give credit. Others take credit. The ones who take credit are transactional.
How many of your relationships are transformational?
How transformed are you by those relationships?
How transformed is the world?
It’s only through transformational relationships that the synergistic power of 100X can happen. Collaboration between two or more people who REALLY CARE about the others. Who protect them. Who pick them up.
Who do you have that you could call at at 2AM if you were having an emergency?
Do you have someone you could call at 2AM if you were in trouble?
How would they respond?
That’s a good way of measuring the quality of your relationships.