At the bottom of a great cup of tea, the leaves that give the brew its flavor are left behind. Legend has it that the study of such tea leaves will show you insights into your future and will help you map out a course of action.
I believe our actions every day leave behind the same kind of remnant as is found in the bottom of a cup of tea, and that if we study those actions, it can help us navigate essential parts of our life.
An essential work survival skill is learning to study an individuals behavior – be it your boss, customer, peer or staff. You probably have already developed your talent when it comes to networking, connecting, or relationship building at the office. Now it is time to apply that to your family life.
One of the most important things you can do is get to know the parents of your kid’s friends. Also get involved with their sports, school, church, and any other extra-curricular activities. You don’t have to be a “super-volunteer” or add more activity to your already full calendar. Just watch what is going on and observe.
It is about surrounding yourself and your children with people that you choose to have in your life. Get to know as many people as you can in your family life, just like you would do at work. Then choose your team wisely.
When meeting someone new, keep these two points in mind:
It is a two-way street – don’t treat your new relationship like a street that goes in one direction – that is, your way, to serve your needs. It’s about give and take. No one gets anywhere on a one-way, dead- end street.
Do what you say you are going to do– now that you have spent the extra effort listening, looking around, and reaching out to a stranger – follow up. If you said you are going to provide more information, a link to something, or a contact – do it!
Just like at work, it is also ok to change the players on the team. There is nothing worse than having a “friend” who is draining you emotionally. It is time to let that friend go. Or maybe it is time to stop spending Saturday night with the neighbor couple that you really don’t enjoy. Saturday nights are precious, don’t waste them!
Reading the tea leaves in an art. Those that master it enjoy success.
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