Relationships typically operate in three phases: connection, nurture, or repair. When we first meet someone, we begin by making connections in our professional and/or personal lives. It is the initial connection that helps us determine if we want to invest any further into the relationship. In most cases, we have a choice in our investment, however in some cases, such as the workplace or with certain family members, that choice has been made for us, leaving it up to us to make the best of the situation. As we all know, this doesn’t always go well.
In the second phase, we need to nurture the relationship once a connection is established. Like a plant that needs water and light to thrive, our relationships need the right amount of attention to stay alive or grow as well.
The third phase is the repair, which is necessary following a conflict. Repair happens when parties follow up with one another after a conflict. In this process, each person identifies their part, they offer solutions to fix the situation, and they commit to correcting this situation for the benefit of the relationship. While repair is the most important phase, it is often the area that falls by the wayside.