Tips to Build Strong Relationships

In every barre3 class, we emphasize the importance of having a strong body to help get you through the demands of the day. I believe that building strong relationships is just as important (which is why “Connect” is such a key part of the barre3 Formula for Success)!

By relationships, I’m not just talking about the romantic kind—the connections we make with friends, co-workers, neighbors and family are essential to help us thrive. Here are three tips that I use to build relationships that are happy, healthy and satisfying:

1. Take time to understand before being understood. This is one of my favorite mantras from Stephen Covey’s book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. As he points out, we spend years learning how to speak properly. But we receive virtually no training on learning how to listen. As a result, most people listen with the intent to reply, not to understand. Empathic listening creates an open, caring environment and usually leads to better problem solving. I live by this motto when parenting and running my business!

2. Nourish. Nourish means more than eating good food, it also means surrounding yourself with people who make you healthy.  My mom once told me, “Choose people who feed you, make you feel full and happy, rather than people who suck up all the good energy and leave you feeling depleted.” At 41, I have finally tapped into the power of her wise words.  My whole company is based on attracting people who know that making meaningful connections are at the core of our health and well being.

3. Give generously. Have you read the book Bread and Butter?  It’s a great story about a franchise business called Great Harvest Bread Co. One of their mantras is to give generously, and I’ve borrowed this as one of my mantras too. I feel happier and lighter in my body when I give to others without expecting anything in return. Try it, and you’ll see what I mean. As you have experienced, our barre3 instructors are committed to giving generously to you, to helping you work deep in your body, build strength and become the best version of yourself.  What you may not have witnessed is how much my team cares about each other. We have an internal culture of giving generously, whether that means enthusiastically subbing classes, lending a hand when in need, or supporting each other as parents, friends, and entrepreneurs.

Studies show that when we connect meaningfully with others stress becomes more manageable, we gain confidence, and we feel happier. It’s easy to put our relationships on the back-burner when life gets crazy, but I encourage you to carve out time for your friends and family. You’ll be a better parent, spouse, friend, and employee as a result.

  1. Sadie,
    I was thrilled to see your reference to Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood! Dr. Covey would have been thrilled! As a writer for FranklinCovey Education, I spend my days bringing Habit 5 and the other habits to children. Can you imagine the difference there would be in the world if we all listened more than we talked? Keep up the great work, I am stronger because of your workouts! Judy, Michigan

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