Author Archives: siren

Great Love Relationships

Why having a great relationship is so important for all of us?

We cherish love stories because they show us that it is possible to be perfectly loved. All around us people talk about romance, soul-mates and endless love…while being in normal, safe but dull relationships. Is this a collective dream?

What are we all looking for in the dream relationship?

Beyond all the conscious reasons we say in public: “he really supports me,” “she is caring and attentive,” “we have so much fun together,” is one hidden factor very difficult to put into words, or acknowledge.

As we all go through life developing into the full beings we need to be, there are some unfulfilled aspects left undone while we were growing up. Some childhood needs such as being accepted by our parents, being respected or fully appreciated were missing. Parents can be very busy, very unsuited to the task of parenting or simply lost in their own needs to recognize their children’s vital needs and those reactions leave a very deep mark. Other times, parents are really abusive and inflict untold humiliation and verbal abuse on their children.

So, why do we need the great relationship for?

Because in our imagination, we are now selecting the person who will exactly heal us from childhood needs and emotional wounds, and make us, finally, whole persons. This ideal person will give us the acceptance, adoration and care we need to complete the task of growing up. This is the hidden request, the one we don’t express, and don’t ask for but expect and wait for.

How come this person I have selected myself as to be my adoring partner shows the same cold disinterest as I received from my father?

He has been chosen precisely because I saw in him the potential to give me enough adoration as to compensate old needs and make me whole! If we can begin to think of the other as our partner in this adventure, the first task is to know: what does he needs from me that he never received from his parents?

What was unjustly denied to her as a girl, that now I can provide?

People can tell different reasons for breaking up, but never accept the bitter disappointment that breaking up this invisible promise produces. It is a reality that sometimes we pick up, select and marry people who will treat us the same way our parents treated us, so perpetuating the abuse cycle.

Ignoring our own unconscious choices, we now feel that hope is lost, that we are back in the untenable situation of our childhood, with rejection and without any support or love…with the difference that now, we can’t even dream with a better future, because the future is here and this person is utterly disappointing us in this level….Now, the marriage is at its lower point and heading for disaster.

Whatever the quality of our marriage, we keep waiting for the ideal person who can make us whole by accepting and loving us complete, as we are. Our parents loved us conditionally, trying to make us the people they expected, not what we were then.

Now, if there is deep disappointment with our present partner, there is always the dream to ask us to look beyond the marriage barriers, to any other who can fulfill the hidden promise. So we either get lovers, or get divorces and thus begin all the cycle again. Common marriages not addressing this hidden need can be relationships that qualify only as “pretty good.”

But what creates a really great relationship?

A great, possible great relationship begins with making this hidden contract visible. If she was emotionally abused as a girl, the promise is: “I will never abuse you, and even more, I will give you enough support as to make you trust again.” If he was an unappreciated boy, the promise is: “I will make you feel uniquely valued and appreciated in what you are, so you can have back a healthy self-esteem.”

When we say to each other: I Love You Just the Way You Are it better include this point: “I love the hurt child inside you, because he/she is a beautiful child deserving all my love, and I promise not to abuse, hurt, diminish or make fun of this child, but to support him and make her grow.” If we think that we can help each other “just forget the past,” and begin a new life together now, we are playing with fire.

Both partners and their inner children need to be embraced, loved and healed by constant attention. Do you know what the best gift is? Give your beloved something connected with the stories she told you about being a child and wishing or needing something that was never provided, and give it to him.

The number one secret of a great relationship is accepting our partner EXACTLY as they are. We are wrong to try to change him, but is even worst to ignore the same inner part of our loved person we promised to accept and nurture. To create a great relationship, say and mean, “I love you as you are now, and I love also the child you are inside.” No denial of this hidden needy aspect, no further rejection of his wishes as immature or childish. Give your attention to this lovely child, show compassion and tenderness and wait; the complete human being that you need to grow into is coming, and also is his adult person flourishing by the attention.

The ultimate marriage covenant is to help each other’s self esteem to grow, healing past emotional abuse and walking together to more adult situations, which can’t be reached if we don’t heal the inner child before. If we ignore each other’s needs, failing to provide support in this shared growth towards adulthood, we are cheating the promise of marriage, and behaving as careless and rejecting as our own parents were with us in the past.

If you are serious about loving and accepting your partner as she or he is, please, include their personal story in the program and accept that now, you are each other’s healer of past wounds. This is your key to make each other happy.

Five Steps To The Love You’ve Been Dreaming About Since You Were a Little Girl

Maybe you’re in a long-term relationship, or maybe just met someone you’d like to be in one with. If it is a new one, you’re hopeful, but there is the nagging doubt – will it be different than any before. You tell yourself, why should it be? So far nothing has worked out for you. Long term/short-term they just don’t seem to last, is it the stars, your fate – nothing has given you the dream relationship you’ve been dreaming about since you were a little girl. You are practically to the point of giving up.

Don’t…

What if what I’m about to share with you could give you the relationship of your dreams, the one you’ve been imagining all along, the type that makes you jealous when you see it. The one you can’t believe you could have, and to top it off, it will be easy and fun to achieve…

Each of the steps listed below will get you there. They can work on their own, or together they will make you irresistible…

Step One – Keep Your Life

You need to have your own life…

What you were doing before you met your current partner, or what interests you now outside of the relationship needs to stay in the picture. You need to have interests outside of HIM.

This is crucial –

wow, I know it can feel like it is hard to do
you just want to be with him
you don’t want to wonder what he is doing with the time you are not together
you may feel like doing things by yourself or with others besides him isn’t as interesting
you may have to force yourself to create this separateness

In creating this space…

you automatically become more interesting to your man
you start noticing his curiosity
with that your self-esteem starts to grow, which creates a snow ball effect of more curiosity, more self-esteem, more love…

Step Two – Pole Dancing/Lap Chair Dancing

The Spark That Ignites…

Almost a year and a half ago I went out with a man I met on a dating site. I wasn’t attracted to his picture, his profile was OK and he asked me to go to something I had no interest in – a football game. But, I figured I wanted the experience of dating – it had been about a year since I broke up with Mr. Toxic, so I accepted.

We went out on a couple of more dates, but I couldn’t imagine being physical with him. I started liking him more, but still couldn’t receive his physical affection. It seemed like he was getting pretty frustrated with my lack of physical interest, and we probably weren’t going to see each other anymore. Then a light bulb lit up for me… maybe the lack of physical attraction wasn’t about him but instead had something to do with me – not feeling comfortable with a new/different man than my last partner.

One of the sessions on a relationship program I was taking had a lap dancer doing her lap dance for her partner. Watching it, I physically started getting aroused. I started to learn/practice what was being taught, and as incentive I decided to email the man I had been dating to tell him what I was doing… that I was going to take a lap dancing class near him. He said why don’t I practice on him. That Saturday night I did, and our relationship has been among other things the most sexually fulfilling, loving relationship I’ve ever been in.

I am certainly not that, or wasn’t that, nimble in my dance (I’m in my late 60’s), but the candle lit atmosphere of the room, the music I picked, and even my shyness created just what was to be needed to make for fun, and a connecting evening and beyond.

If for some reason sex has lost its luster in your relationship, or it hasn’t even begun yet for you this may be a fun way to be intimate together.

Step Three- “DOER SHIP” Not To Be Done

Maybe you, like I, am a doer. Among other things, I’m a CEO of an Architectural/Engineering Company, mother of 4 adopted children, grand-mother to 5, relationship coach and lover in a relationship. Maybe like me you are not, or have not been one to sit around. If something appears wrong, you’re probably there to fix it/change it/definitely not ignore it.

All of that needs to change…

Doers-ship is a trait that kills a romantic relationship; it is a masculine trait. When you are with your beloved, he wants you to be a feminine women.

Feminine is –

As an example – If you were in a rowboat with your man

not picking up the oars,
making yourself really comfortable
leaning back and relaxing
enjoying/appreciating your man’s strength and fortitude
verbally expressing how happy and relaxed you are – with words or sounds
not initiating, planning, controlling what you do when you are with your man

Allow him to plan, do what it takes to do things with you
Expressing appreciation when this happens
Being receptive/opened up and obviously appreciative to any and all of his initiations of affection, caring or loving
Learning how to receive without feeling like you owe something back
If you want to do something this is it — “Do Nothing”
Appreciation works even better with feeling messages – words “That feels so good when you do… “, “Ohhhhhhhhhhhh”, ” I love how that feels when you touch me like that”, etc.

Step Four – Words/Sounds/And When to Shut Up

I recently realized I’m a nervous talker… especially around my man who is very masculine, talks when he has something meaningful to say, and can often be just quiet. I always thought I was relatively quiet, but when nervous, anxious, in a low self-esteem mood my tendency is to want to chatter. If you are like me, you may want to start working on this…

Chatter with men is like feeding them garbage, and they have just as much taste for it as if they were eating garbage…

Masculine men seem to be more real – tell it as it is which often needs very little words, and if they are “deep” usually there is some profundity/deeper meaning to their words.

They basically connect with us/have intimate sharing with us through “beingness”/quietness/peacefulness or doing something together often involving no words.

On the other hand – they love when we appreciate who they really are.

This can be done through:

Our “feeling” words expressing our happiness to be with them, who they truly are, and their “doings” whether for us or for others
Our sounds – they seem to love hearing our sounds – genuine grunts and groans, coos and excitements again all related to our true feelings.

Step 5 – Turn Your Beloved Over – ‘Vibrational’ Surgery

Lying in bed – Test your push/pull vibrations

When you’re lying in bed next to your beloved feeling unloved, he’s turned away from you
You can REALLY feel rejected
Not the time for words
No asking “why have you turned over”
No turning to him and putting your arm around him

INSTEAD

Try turning away – be real with yourself.

Start thinking about yourself as a very beautiful creature, a goddess, a siren.

Start REALLY feeling into these loving thoughts about yourself, your good qualities, how wonderful you truly are, then start giving your beloved good thoughts.

think of his good qualities
giving him good vibrations from your heart to his
think about many things you love about him – detailing these in your mind

Giving this a bit of time…

Really feeling these qualities for both you and him
See if your beloved, if he is not asleep, doesn’t turn over and put his arm around you or touches your leg with his toe

Successful Relationships

This article will focus on the importance of balancing your inner being towards personal transformation regarding relationships. In other words, it is vitally important to be in tune with your inner essence in order to create and maintain a nurturing interaction with yourself and with your partner, child, spouse, or whomever.

First, start off by asking yourself if you know what you want in a relationship? Have you ever asked yourself this question? Remember, the Universal Laws concerning the Law of Attraction means that to live life without purpose means you live life by default. And, relationships are no different. Please understand that nobody is in charge of making you happy. This means that true inner peace cannot be found outside of yourself. Only your own Divinity and your own Inner Guidance System have the ability to bring you the love relationships of your dreams.

So before you go forth on this journey of finding and receiving the blissfulness of a true love relationship with another human being, you must adhere to the fact that you must love yourself first. This is not just some flippant comment that you have heard before that should be skimmed over. This is serious business and is what the Law of Attraction is all about.

And, if you do not know what you expect or want for yourself in a relationship then you will get whatever your subconscious emotions are projecting. Furthermore, if you do not know what your subconscious emotions are projecting then you are living life in an unawakened state of being. Relationships are a vital part of living on the earth plane. And relationships are not just about a significant other situation. You have a relationship with your co-workers, your neighbors, your career (what you want from a career is also a pertinent question for you to ponder), your family, your friends, your pets, and all manner of living things. But for the purposes of this particular article we are going to focus on significant other relationships.

The first thing to do is to spend some quiet time in reflection about how you would like to feel when you are in a relationship. What do you want to have happen for you when you find that special someone? Not just in the beginning stage, the honeymoon stage, but for all the years that you are together. Because, since you cannot be in charge of another person’s feelings, this is really all about you. Not in a selfish way, but in a deliberate-creation way. By deliberate-creation I mean that you should understand from your inner essence what you envision for yourself. What will happen for you in this relationship? How will this help you to become a better person?

Here are some examples that might aid you with the relationship issue process. Do you want to feel appreciated? Do you want to feel respected? Do you want to be accepted for who you are and not have to live up to the expectations of the other person? Hopefully these few examples will trigger your own thought processes so you can tune into your beingness and create from that center point. Also, doing these steps will enhance your awareness about your inner desires concerning a relationship. And then you can proceed by being in an awakened state and create deliberately.

It is imperative for you to be able to connect with your inner essence. It is this author’s belief that meditation is a key element for connecting with and living by your inner guidance system. You can certainly start your mental list about how you would like to feel in your relationship. However, to accelerate the process of making your dream relationship into a reality a connection with your own spiritual advisor is essential; the spiritual advisor that dwells within you. So, having established the importance of connecting with your Divinity, let us proceed with some guidelines that can help you further along the process.

When you are in a relaxed and meditative state, imagine yourself being in the relationship of your inner most desires. Really feel the relationship being exactly the way you want it to be. While it is perfectly acceptable to picture physical attributes, the most important aspect of this process is for you to connect with how you want to feel in the relationship. And to remember what it is YOU want for yourself when you are in a relationship. Remember, acknowledging what you want in the relationship honors your inner self while also projecting the correct energy flow in order to attract your energetic match.

Visualize yourself being in the absolute epitome of the perfect relationship from your point of view. Continue to do this process on a regular basis. Remember, doing it once or twice is probably not going to produce the desired results. The reason this is so is because, at some level of your inner being, there are probably blocks or belief systems that have prevented your ideal relationship from coming to you up until this point.

Imagination is a powerful modality when creating Law of Attraction lifestyles. Because, when you let your imagination guide you then you can connect with your inner spiritual consultant. We each have an inner spiritual life coach that is just waiting to reveal the essence of your inner most desires for achieving enlightenment in any given area of your life.

So, allow yourself to dream into existence that perfect relationship. You are entitled to the best of everything, including a soul mate. Sending you the best of thoughts for success in your emotional healing regarding your relationship issues.

Relationship Satisfaction with the Law of Attraction

The Law of Attraction tells us that we can manifest anything we desire. As a spiritually oriented life coach of more than twelve years, I agree whole-heartedly. That is, IF you truly understand the advanced concepts that elevate the Law of Attraction from the realm of “interesting idea” to “practical success tool.”

It is vital not only to understand what does and doesn’t work regarding the Law of Attraction in general, but also the do’s and don’ts specific to each type of dream you wish to manifest; whether it be the desire for a fulfilling relationship, prosperity, physical well-being, inner peace, or right livelihood. When it comes to relationships there are common pitfalls which can easily sabotage an eager seeker. In this article we’ll address culprit #1.

FORM VS. ESSENCE

A common Law of Attraction pitfall regarding relationships is that people focus on the form vs. the essence. Form refers to appearances – what we think our dream relationship is supposed to look like. Essence refers to the vibration – what our dream relationship will feel like. The form can be a trap because we think the form is what will make us happy. But if the form doesn’t match the essence two things can happen: a) you may attract exactly what you’re looking for (i.e. your dream will “look” as you expected), but still find yourself unhappy, or b) you may find yourself unable to manifest what you desire because, due to your expectation, you’ll keep missing it.

Money in relationships is a common form vs. essence pitfall area. When I guide people through my Vision Workshop process to get clear on the relationship of their dreams, they will usually hit a point where they are exploring finances. They will make very specific lists about their dream mate’s job, income, financial status, and assets. They get caught up in appearances (the conditions of our third dimensional reality).

ESSENCE = VIBRATION

Now there is nothing wrong with this per se. It is great to have an image of what you want. Many people can be very visual. I love and recommend collages as a manifestation tool because they engage the senses and help you to access the vibrational essence of your desire. However, the problem arises when you are not clear about what those physical conditions represent to you. You need to identify the underlying essence. What does that image or form mean to you?

For example, maybe you want a woman who will contribute to your household financially. Or you want a man who is already wealthy. You need to ask yourself, “Why? Why is this important to me? What does this money or work ethic mean to me?” If you don’t get to the essence of what you want, you may attract the perfect “picture” but find out that it doesn’t match some other unconscious desire.

Perhaps what you really seek in a woman who is willing to contribute financially is the essence of partnership. Maybe you’ve witnessed examples of strong women who are out there in the world and bring back a certain fiery strength and independence that appeals to you. If you’re not clear that that is what you really desire, you could conceivably attract a woman who likes to work, but not necessarily as a joyful expression of who she is. You could get the form of a woman who wants to work full-time, but she could have an entirely different essence, maybe even one that is counter to what you desire. What if she works because she feels she can’t depend on anyone to take care of her, and that means you?

What of the woman who thinks she wants a man who is worth millions? If she doesn’t identify the essence of what that means to her, she may end up unhappy. For her wealth may mean freedom, power, safety or protection. Again, she may very well attract the form of wealth, but the essence of being cared for may elude her.

LOOK BENEATH THE SURFACE

As you identify what you want in a relationship, have fun making your lists and summoning the visual imagery of your desires. But don’t stop there. Go deeper and look beneath the surface. Ask yourself what it is that you really want in a relationship. As you clearly connect with your value system and the qualities you seek, you’ll be able to direct that energy into the Universe with power and clarity.

Relationship Reality

Within the next two to three minutes, you will uncover if you have had relationships based in reality or fantasy!

I want you to recall a failed relationship and ask yourself one question, “Why didn’t it work?”

Initially, you may answer, “They cheated, lied, changed, etc.” But be honest with yourself. Without honesty there cannot be any changes in your life.

The truth may be you created a world in which this person could not live up too! “How is that possible,” is what you are thinking, “I would never do such a thing!” Maybe not intentionally but you do it! Heck, we all do it until we realize we are doing it!

Too often you project your image of the person onto them. Thus, creating your fantasy person. We see only the image we created.

This is important to recognize early on because at no point did the person ask you to think so highly of them. You focus on their “potential” and figure eventually he/she will get to that place he/she should be to make you happy.

However, once the individual steps outside of the image you created you begin to think, “They changed!” But in reality they were the same all a long.

In essence, what you have done was create a “virtual reality” or “fantasy world” based on the images present in your mind. That is why many of us get hurt in our relationships. We are not realistic but idealistic.

What’s the difference between a Realistic person and an Idealistic person?

Realistic: 

  • A realistic person will go into a relationship with their eyes open
  • A realistic person will lay the cards on the table and get down to details of what the relationship is going to be
  • A realistic person will speak their mind and say what they feel even though it may hurt the person in the short term
  • A realistic person is honest with the individual regarding their life and shows they care about the person and not focused on what they can get from the individual
  • A realistic person understands there will be problems and issues but working together they can overcome anything
  • A realistic person tends to be more genuine in their love and support
  • And much, much more

Idealistic:

  • The idealistic person will forgo the communication and move straight into sex
  • The idealistic person will say “I love you” quick
  • The idealistic person will get emotionally attached quick
  • The idealistic person will think, “This is my dream person.” Technically, they would be right, as it is a dream they are living and their new mate would be a dream person.
  • The idealistic person will cry because their dream relationship did not work out then repeat the process over again
  • The idealistic person will blame everyone else for causing the problem but never look at themselves
  • The idealistic person lives in a fantasy world where everything works and nothing fails
  • The idealistic person is usually kicked square in the face by reality and still will not wake up
  • And much, much more!

The question you need to ask yourself is, “Am I a realistic person or am I am idealistic person?” The answer to that question will help you to understand why your relationships end and how to say goodbye to relationship mistakes and avoid unhappy relationships.

Now, don’t go analyzing people and prejudging them. This, as well as everything else you may read on other web sites, is just a guide. Use your common sense and just pay attention when you are dealing with people.

Connecting the Dots

Marriage as we know it used to be viewed as a business relationship. Arranged by the families of a young couple, such partnerships were formed for the value they could bring to all parties. Some benefits included financial stability, securing class status, and prestige. The concept of love relationships is relatively new, even in the Western World, where arranged marriages were a part of mainstream culture well into the 19th century.

Why discuss arranged marriage in a career forum? Because today, the concept of working for love – or landing one’s dream job – is perhaps as controversial — and misunderstood — as was marrying for love in the 20th century.

Those of us who married for love probably shared certain romantic notions as we searched for our life partner. We looked for someone smart, attractive, with similar values and shared interests. According to a recent poll on iVillage.com, 98% of respondents thought it was important to marry your soul mate. The term soul mate can lead to unreasonable expectations, as does “dream job”, its closest parallel in the world of work.

Merriam-Webster defines a soul mate as “a person who is perfectly suited to another in temperament.” More romantic notions of twin souls hold that two people were destined, before birth, or many lifetimes ago, as each other’s true match. By finding and partnering with your soul mate, presumably, you would live happily ever after.

Dream jobs are the working world’s equivalent to marrying for love. The idea of working for love, perhaps unheard of in the mainstream during the industrial revolution, is a romanticized notion many modern professionals share. Yet the number of people who actually love their jobs is disappointingly low. A 2008 Gallup Poll found that less than half of U.S. workers, or 48%, were “completely satisfied” with their work. To top it off, that figure marked an 8-year high, and may have been positively influenced by the recession, during which many people are just grateful to have a job.

To demonstrate the perils of romanticizing a dream job, let’s return to the dictionary definition of soul mates, which prescribes a perfect match in temperament. First, it’s difficult to imagine what that would even look like, for how can one temperament be exactly like another? But more importantly, the absence of struggle is implied in this definition. How, if we don’t struggle, are we supposed to grow?

The old testament offers a useful definition of a marriage partnership as an “opposing helpmate.” This, to me, is an honest view of a soul mate relationship, in which one’s partner spurs the other to grow and evolve. Often this growth is accomplished through opposition, not necessarily through resistance, but through modeling a more evolved behavior. If there is no one to show us how we need to evolve, we are often unable – or unwilling – to recognize those needs in ourselves.

And so it is with a dream job. While we may believe that our ideal job will meet all of our needs, it won’t always translate to a harmonious experience.

The content of a dream job – by its very nature – must be well-suited to a professional’s talents and interests. However, the ways in which it makes us grow may initially seem like drawbacks.

A challenging boss, for example, teaches us the need to manage up. A lack of recognition or promotion may teach us the art of self-advocacy. A lack of social support or mentorship may spur us to build our networking skills.

The bottom line? Dream jobs and soul mates have much to offer us, and it is deeply fulfilling to feel passionately about one’s spouse as well as one’s job. But dream relationships are not defined by a lack of conflict. On the contrary, inherent in conflict are often our greatest opportunities for growth.

Attraction in Loving Relationships

Law of Attraction and Love and Family. Whilst there are three areas in life that are important to people – health, wealth and love – it is usually the latter two that they are most focused on – trying to earn more money or finding the love of their life or increasing the love and prosperity for their loved ones. When it comes to love and family, how does the law of attraction fit in – can it help to create a loving relationship and even mend broken ones?

Of course it can! Everyone is sending out energy, emotional vibrations, at an unconscious level. And since like energies attract more of the same, if you begin to send out positive energy they will respond in the same way. After an argument, it doesn’t matter who is the first to say sorry and begin doing good things for the other (sending out positive energy) for the other to soon have no choice but to do the same – they have no choice – they will not be able to help themselves.

If we look at the family situation we’ll find that there are already bonds in play that can help to make the relationship better than ever before. We all know that it is not uncommon for families who share the same space to compete over the bathroom, for example, or for siblings to argue about computer games, TV – the usual domestics!

But, the bottom line is that there is usually an element of love in the family, even at the root of what seem impossible relationship problems. Where do you start? I’ve just said that there is always an element of love in the family, right? Then that is where you begin. For some, however, the disharmony may have been going on for some time and so the subconscious is sending out all the wrong emotional responses (because over time it’s been conditioned to act that way). Ok, you’re going to fix this problem and mend the relationship – but first, you have to be absolutely convinced that you want to do this, because the first person you have to start with, is YOU! You have to convince your own subconscious first, before you have a chance with anyone else.

Lip service is not enough – you really have to WANT things to change, right to the very emotional foundation of your being. You have to be 100% committed to change. First thing to do is to forget all the bad stuff – stop focusing on what they did that drove you up the wall, round the bend – however you want to put it – stop focusing on it right now. Why? The law of attraction! If you still harbor thoughts about the things they did to irritate you, what are you focusing on? Being irritated! Guess what? You are sending out a signal to your subconscious genie that reads “irritation” – the genie responds with “your wish is my command” and hey presto, you get more irritation!

LET GO! Let go of all the things that irritated you. You have to change the frequency of your emotional vibrations that your subconscious is sending out to the universe. You have to switch from negative to positive – it’s as simple as that. Simply let go of all the focus on their faults – their habits that irritated you to such a degree that things got to where they are now. Focus on what they do (or used to do) that made you feel happy. Go look at some happy photos – even check out your wedding pictures (as long as they are happy ones!) Focus on the happy times you shared. Do you remember the things you used to do for them that made THEM happy? Go do them all over again. When you see them, think of the happy times you have spent with them – use your own reservoir of happy memories to change the signal your subconscious has been sending out. In no time, if you put yourself 100% into this, you will find yourself in a much happier relationship than you could have dreamed of.

Ok, let’s take a look at trying to attract the love of your life INTO your life. The principle is much the same, only you haven’t met them yet (or maybe you have but haven’t noticed them). And remember, they are also looking for you! The important thing here is to be very specific when you give your subconscious genie your wish. What exactly are you looking for in a relationship?

As I have said, they are also looking for you, so in these terms, forget about political or social status for a moment – this is the love of your life, right? If you start putting limits and restricting choice, you are not really sending out the right signal! Be OPEN! Or you may miss the most wonderful relationship you could ever have dreamed of. Think of values and the type of relationship you want. Think of their personality and how they treat others – yes, think about their likes and dislikes – think about everything that you want in your future dream relationship. Then believe 100% that you are going to find this person.

If you find this difficult, just remind yourself that every day, millions of men and women around the world are creating a new life with the person of their dreams. You are no different from them – you have a right to be happy too. It happens every day. You can affirm this to yourself, each day, if it helps. Now comes the hard bit. You have to be patient. Your genie certainly does grant your wish, but, not always in the timescale that you are thinking in. Believe that it will happen, and it will. Just be patient and give it time.

Ok… you’re not so patient. What happens? You date the next person that comes along, just to “fill in time” and hey, guess what, your life gets full of distractions that you would not even recognize the person of your dreams if they walked in the room. You are sending out all the wrong vibrations. Your focus is on your new date and not the love of your life. Remember, he or she is also looking for you! You are both looking for each other on a subconscious level – but yours is now sending out the wrong vibrations. You were so busy keeping yourself occupied with your new date, that you missed out on the opportunity to meet your dream lover, and they walked away without even a hello or goodbye because you didn’t know they were there.

Client-Vendor Relationship

Changing How We Regard Vendors

If you are like the typical client who looks at vendor services as a basic commodity-for-cash transaction, you probably have difficulties with many of your internal and external vendors.

“After all,” you probably think, “vendors of this product or service are a dime a dozen! I am in the driver’s seat. He/she has to make me happy or I’ll look somewhere else!”

Would you take that same idea that a “vendor is just a basic commodity-for-cash so I do not have to worry about how I treat him/her” viewpoint with…

• Your doctor?

• Your mechanic?

• Your lawyer?

• Your accountant?

Most people would say something like, “No! They take care of my personal life and would be too hard to replace!”

However, ask yourself if their services-for-money relationships with you are truly different from a vendor at work or have you just never thought of them the same way?

If there were a way that you could feel the same about a workplace vendor that you feel about your personal physician, mechanic, lawyer, or accountant, could that possibly

1. Improve the way you deal with the vendor and,

2. Possibly improve the service that you get from them?

This is the viewpoint we take with this article: you can improve your vendor’s service if you will consider improving the way you view them.

What Vendors Want

Do you think this statement, “When your employees get what they want, you’ll get what you want” could be applied to a vendor as well as employees? Why?

A response from vendors who say they want:

  • Respect – The vendors’ senior executives want access to their customer counterparts. “If the CIO doesn’t want to meet with me, then that’s an indication of the value that I’m bringing to the relationship.”
  • Consistency – Vendors know that some of them are treated as commodities and others as partners and they understand that. However, what they do not want is to be treated one-way one day and the other way the next. That inconsistency causes many problems.
  • Guilt-free profit – Vendors need to make a profit, too, if they are to stay in business and support their clients. If deals are only structured to benefit the customer, then do not expect the vendor to invest their best resources in the account.

Complaints about Vendors

Typical complaints from clients about vendors:

1. They are always selling, never solving

2. It’s always about them, never about us

3. They bombard us with much-too-complicated billing and labor intensive account-relationship trivia

4. Once the contract is signed, the relationship changes dramatically

5. The highly-qualified consultants that helped close the deal are suddenly unavailable

6. The vendor blames you or your staff for the failure to show progress

7. The vendor bills plenty of hours but actual progress doesn’t occur

The good news is there is a way to improve the relationship!

Starting with the Outcome

“You’ve gotta have a dream

If you don’t have a dream,

How you gonna have a dream come true?”

-Rogers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific

Before you start looking for a vendor for your next outsourcing project, take some time to visualize what you want the relationship with that vendor to look like, act like, feel like, and sound like.

As strange as it may seem, those Rogers and Hammerstein lyrics from South Pacific can apply to the business world when considering a relationship with a vendor: if you don’t have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?

We begin by thinking about a “dream” relationship with a vendor. Collect your project team (or the key people who will have a say in the vendor selection and managing the relationship) and brainstorm these questions. (Remember that in brainstorming there are no value judgments made about responses. Just collect the ideas and evaluate them later.)

1. What kind of SOLUTIONS (not deliverables) do you desire regarding these issues? (Hint – a successful relationship with a vendor, a friend, or a spouse involves much more than just the product.)

a. Billing statement format and accountability

b. Missing deadlines (such as product delivery [vendor] or payment [client])

c. Resolving issues not specifically addressed in the contract

d. Scope changes made that were not properly authorized first

e. Oral, verbal, and written communications between vendor and client

f. Replacement of project team members if requested by “other side” (If the vendor’s representative had problems getting along with their client counterpart, how would this be resolved?)

g. Educating each side about the other’s values, concerns, and aspirations

2. What kind of different tasks are you and they involved in if you had a dream relationship with them? (Such as sharing employee development opportunities and costs!)

3. What kind of reporting would you want from them and what would you be willing to give to them?

4. Review your thoughts on typical vendor relationships. How much would you be willing to rethink the way your organization deals with vendors so that your comments were balanced between the client and vendor instead of tipped to favor the client?

5. How can you handle scope changes so they do not become a source of contention in the relationship?

6. Are the desired products or services from the vendor tactical or strategic? Which is best for your situation? (Are you more concerned with what they can do -strategic- or how they will do it – tactical?)

7. What behavioral traits would you want in the ideal vendor representative? What kind do you think they want from the client’s representative?

8. Southwest Airlines (the only profitable major airline in the US) uses this to guide their hiring – “Hire for Attitude, Train for Skill.”

Why would that be a smart approach to hiring in a service-related industry?

(A customer-focused attitude is essential in a service industry like the airlines. People are born with that attitude, it cannot be taught as technical skills can. Southwest admits that while it can teach technical skills such as ticketing, cabin service, or baggage handling, it cannot teach people to be caring and concerned about their customers.)

How could that same philosophy be useful in selecting a vendor?

(Time spent searching for a vendor AND THEIR REPRESENTATIVE who is genuinely focused on providing customer service before haggling over deliverables will provide a stronger, longer relationship. CAUTION – the client must be equally dedicated to the success of the vendor or this becomes too one-sided and will deteriorate.)

Developing the Foundation for a Relationship

Let us take a moment to summarize where we are:

1. We suggest that a vendor is actually no different from an employee of our organization (employees and vendors are paid to perform specific tasks.)

2. The employee/vendor – not the employer/client – determines where they work within the performance gap

3. There are some specific techniques that can be used to motivate employees

4. We can choose to view vendors like we do professionals in our personal lives

5. Vendor wants and needs, from a business perspective, are not really much different from ours

6. We can describe what we would expect in a “dream” relationship with a vendor

7. We can use that description (# 6 above) as the foundation of our strategy if we are willing to take an unorthodox approach to dealing with vendors.

RFIs, RFPs and Teambuilding

This article presents broad guidelines for a new approach to creating a successful relationship with vendors. It is not intended to be a procedural guide for developing RFIs, RFPs, or contracts because there is plenty of information about those topics already in the marketplace.

We believe in the premise that if you help people clearly understand the “why” of something, they can figure out the “how” that is best for them.

The Request for Information (RFI)

We believe the foundation for a successful relationship with a vendor begins with the Request for Information (RFI), which includes the strategy we describe in this article.

The RFI is used traditionally when a potential buyer needs to determine what is available from suppliers who may respond to it. Additionally, buyers can use this to determine whether their expectations are realistic and if solutions exist in the market place.

Finally, it also gives potentially interested vendors a chance to influence the Request for Proposal (RFP) that follows by pointing out potential problems or unrealistic expectations (as written) that may prevent anyone from bidding later.

Vendors responding to the RFI are probably following the old supplier adage, “If you don’t help write the RFI, don’t bother with the RFP!”

The Request for Proposal (RFP)

A RFP can be many things to many people. An IT client seeking a software solution may structure it differently than a government agency looking for a food service provider. Regardless of the nature of the writer’s industry, the common elements of a typical RFP include:

1. Allowing a buyer to notify the market of its desire to obtain new technology or services, lay the foundation for the project that will deliver the technology or services, and manage the project itself

2. Forcing suppliers to create competitive solutions for the buyer’s problems

3. Providing a common base of requirements for all bidders thus reducing the potential for claims of unfair competition from losing bidders

4. Making it easier for the buyer to understand the differences between bidders

Team Building with a Vendor

Our unorthodox approach to developing a successful relationship with a vendor is very much like designing a team building activity. (When you think about it, a client-vendor relationship IS ALL ABOUT TEAM BUILDING!)

When a team building facilitator is asked to develop some activities to encourage groups to work together better, some of the first questions asked are, “What will success look like? What are your interests and concerns? How will you know that I’ve earned my fee?”

Questions like that force the potential client to think in terms of interests, needs and services – the strategic “what” – rather than specific methods of delivery – the tactical.

Think about this… When visiting your dentist for relief of a toothache, are you more concerned about relieving the pain or how it is done and at what cost?

We become less concerned with price when more of our needs and interests are being met.

“If that’s true, then why do so many RFPs focus on deliverables?” you ask.

The reasons are simple yet difficult to overcome:

  • The client knows his/her needs better than the vendor and then makes the natural leap to specifying what he/she thinks is the solution for that need.
  • There is a natural distrust of “outsiders” and we do not want to give them any more latitude than necessary for fear of paying too much or being at their mercy.
  • It is how we have always done business with vendors.

Now let us go back and look at those same reasons from a different perspective.

  • The client knows his/her needs better than the vendor…We agree and do not argue with this part!

“…and makes the natural leap to specifying what he/she thinks is the solution for that need.”

Here is where we disagree! If the client had a toothache, would he tell the dentist how to provide relief? Of course not!

Likewise, if we consider potential vendors to be experts in their fields instead of just commodities-for-cash, then we must allow them to suggest a remedy for our organizational pains. (It is still our choice whether to accept that advice!)

We cannot expect them to provide expert advice and help for us while treating them like a necessary evil that we must endure while getting our problem solved.

(Would you treat your dentist that way?)

  • There is a natural distrust of “outsiders” and we do not want to give them any more latitude than necessary for fear of paying too much or being at their mercy.

Here, again, we disagree with the traditional approach to dealing with vendors. Think about buying a car. For many people, this is an activity to be avoided at all costs because we are afraid of paying too much and being at the mercy of the salespersons.

However, suppose we prepared ourselves better for the car-buying experience by doing some homework first before we stepped on the car lot.

We can take time ahead to:

1. Define our interests and needs so we can say “No” when a salesperson tries to lead us down a path that is not best for us.

2. Determine what “success” looks like in terms of down payment, monthly payments, interest rates, and options instead of allowing the salesperson to push us.

3. Learn more about dealer costs via some ‘Net surfing to give us more options for striking a satisfactory deal.

4. Learn how many different manufacturers and models would provide the “transportation solution” we are looking for so we do not feel trapped by any one dealer.

We gain confidence and power with knowledge of our needs and options. Suddenly, the sales representative is not so intimidating any more!

Why should we not take that same approach with a potential vendor?

“However, are you saying that we should NOT focus on deliverables, terms, conditions, and cost but only on our interests?”

Of article not! But if you focus MORE on defining “the dream”, sharing that definition with your vendor, and getting your dream satisfied and less on deliverables, you have a greater chance of a satisfying relationship with your vendor.

The more satisfying your relationship becomes, the stronger your links to each other’s success and the greater the chance to avoid expensive disputes.

Think about this… can marriages with pre-nuptial agreements (sometime called divorce planning) have as much hope of success as relationships who focus on making it work?

It seems that when participants in a relationship focus more on the terms and conditions of it than on its ultimate success, they practically invite disaster!

How Do I Save My Relationship

If this article has caught your attention, then your relationship is probably going through a rough patch but you care so much about it and want to save it. The hardest part has been covered, because you have accepted that the relationship is on the rocks and you are now looking to reunite and make it better. Below are some pointers that will help in answering your question “how do I save my relationship?”

Channels of communication – One of the biggest problems in any relationship is a breakdown in communication. You will need to reopen your channels of communication to make sure that the both of you properly understand what the other wants and needs. Different couples have different ways of expressing themselves to each other. Find out which one works best for you and work on fixing your relationship.

Routines – There are some things that you will always have to do together. For example, you can make it a routine to take a peaceful walk every other evening. You should, however, not make your day-to-day life such a routine that one of you wants out of the relationship because it is getting boring. Try to do spontaneous things from time to time to keep the relationship exciting. These spontaneous things do not have to be anything really drastic or major; just small gestures that bring in a whiff of fresh air to the relationship will do.

The Secret to Relationships

“Why are relationships so hard?”  “Why do they take so much work?”  “Why aren’t your relationships working as well as you’d like them to?”

The quick answer is that relationships are hard because they are, take so much work because they do and don’t work as well as you’d like them to because they don’t.

Behind this glib response is the statement that we all carry with us a belief about relationships that is sometimes subconscious and often unexamined. It is the belief that life is supposed to be different from what it is. Then, when our fantasy clashes with our reality, we think there’s something wrong with us, with the other person and with the relationship.

Have you seen the movie, “Romancing the Stone” with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner? The movie opens with a scene out of the old west where a woman in peril is rescued from outlaws by a handsome cowboy who sweeps the woman into his arms, lifts her onto his horse and rides off with her into the sunset. It is a perfect depiction of a perfect dream relationship.

Unfortunately, it is a dream. After a short fade out, we see that the whole thing has come out of the imagination of Kathleen Turner who is a writer creating the scene in her mind for a book she’s working on. When the real cowboy, played by Michael Douglas, actually materializes, the reality of who he is clashes with the fantasy of what Kathleen would like him to be.

Within this one scene in a movie lies the story of all relationships. At some point in every relationship, the reality of who someone actually is will clash with our fantasy of who we would like him or her to be. This happens in every relationship, personally or professionally.

The person we thought was perfect, isn’t. The job we thought would be perfect, isn’t.

What we may fail to see is that there’s nothing actually wrong. This is exactly what is supposed to happen.

Starting a relationship is very much like a job interview. Both of you are on your best behavior. Small disagreements that might erupt into something larger are glossed over and laughed about. You both want to be “hired” by the other person.

Being in a relationship occurs after you have “hired” one another. You can’t maintain that sunny disposition and “everything is perfect demeanor” all the time. Disagreements will inevitably emerge. Some can be glossed over and laughed about. Others will require conversation and a willingness to give up the need to be right.

The future of the relationship will depend on the choice you make at that moment. And it is a choice. No person will be perfect. No job will be perfect. The grass isn’t actually greener on the other side. It is just green.

If you’re going to be in a long term relationship, you’re going to have to make the choice to do so because the relationship will at times, be hard, take a lot of work and won’t always work as well as you’d like it to.