Nutritious Relationships

I have an article hanging on my bulletin board that I clipped from Western News, WIU’s alumni news about 5 years ago. It is turning yellow and the photo of author, Gordy Taylor (now retired – Associate Vice President for Alumni Programs) is faded. But the sentiment and thoughts Gordy shared in that article remind me daily of the importance of relationships.

Gordy was asked by a friend “You’ve had this job for 26 years, you still seem to be at the top of your game, and you’re still having fun – how have you done it?” His response – “I’ve managed to surround myself with quality people who care about me and have enriched my life in every conceivable way.”

Inspired by an article “Are Your Relationships Nutritious” by Lisa Mascuro, Gordy managed to put into perspective the importance of healthy relationships in all walks of life, not just personal.

Nutritious people are good listeners and they accept you for who you are, not what you can do for them. They help you achieve your goals, help you to be a better person, and provide encouragement. They are honest and truthful.

The article inspires me because it reinforces the impact we have on others. It makes me think about the positive impact nutritious people and relationships have on an organization. Related to network theory, it manifests as a virus spreading – a good virus. The more people working in an organization who are engaged in positive work and relationships, obviously the healthier the outcome.

Personally, I find no greater professional reward than mentoring others or helping solve a problem with someone. It is the collaborative exchange – the healthy give and take, sensing the spark (whether giving or receiving) that makes the shared end result that much more gratifying. Success for all is very heady stuff.

Healthy and nutritious professional relationships can shift the focus from the drain of office/organizational politics to the excitement of creative energy.

As I reflect on all my professional nutritious relationships, of which I am thankful there are many, I’m going to enjoy my chocolate candy bar. You know, nutrition doesn’t have to rule all aspects of your life :)


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