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Building Mutually Beneficial Relationships with Fellow Past/Present Service Members

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A network of mutually beneficial relationships with those who have similar life experiences to you can be extraordinarily powerful.

These are people who can give you advice, connect you to others, and have your back – and you can do the same for them. We’ve written a lot in the past about how to get connected with other past/present service members via tools such as LinkedIn. Today our good friend Blayne Smith is here to share how to take those connections to the next level through CARE.

If you want to have real trust, you simply need to CARE. 

Candor – Candor is proactive honesty. It is the ability to have difficult conversations. It is the willingness to proactively communicate. It requires that we place the relationship ahead of our own personal comfort. Candor leaves no room for half-truths or lies of omission. It allows us to address and resolve concerns, misunderstandings, and misgivings before they become major issues. Being candid is the best way to avoid building those small bits of resentment that can aggregate to create contempt.

Authenticity – Authenticity is about understanding and owning who we are. Authenticity allows us to have a real personality, not a persona. When our thoughts, words, and actions are aligned, we are expressing our authentic self. Living authentically reduces judgment toward ourselves and gives others permission to do the same.

 Reliability – Reliability is more than being dependable. When someone relies on you, they know that you will not only make good on your word, but that you will actively look out for them. This is an often-overlooked component of trust. Whether consciously or subconsciously, we cannot trust until we answer this question: Can I rely on you?

Empathy – Empathy is so important to understanding. It is the ability and willingness to see things through the eyes of others and to feel what they are feeling. Shame and hate cannot exist in the presence of empathy. If we believe that our leaders and partners truly appreciate and account for our perspective, we can trust.

Showing that you CARE is crucial to building trust, and rebuilding trust when it is lost. It’s a great way to help out your community while receiving support too.

Who in your network can you share CARE with this week?

By Blayne Smith, Phil Randazzo, and Bethany Faulds

schuyler@americandreamu.org

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