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Recovery is Relational – And So is Your Career

It’s no secret that people are relational. We need each other – our diverse perspectives, frustrations, unique skills and all. Within the recovery community, the relational aspect of recovery is often experienced. People from all walks of life somehow find community – no matter who you are, you are welcome in recovery meeting rooms.

But the world around us is cutthroat – oftentimes most experienced in the context of your career. People are trying to make their dreams come true and build their careers, and unfortunately, this doesn’t always bring out the best in us.

As someone in recovery and someone in the workforce, you must strive to do both. Build your career through determination and hard work, but don’t miss out on the opportunity to create relationships, build your network and foster healthy community wherever you are. It will make your recovery stronger, your company better, and your leadership respected.

No matter where you are in your career, relationship with others can be beneficial in a multitude of contexts. Here’s how a relational career will benefit you…

In Building Trust

In the walls of the workplace, building community means effectively managing relationships with your boss, employees, stakeholders and coworkers.

The most respected employees are often trustworthy and kind – and they do great work while offering guidance to others. They build trust, a characteristic that helps establish safety and security that will help in all elements of the workplace.

In recovery, people look out for one another. You don’t have to come from the same background, share the same beliefs, or even see each other outside the walls of a meeting – but when you’re together in recovery, there is a mutual respect and understanding that keeps people on the same page, marching toward the same goal.

What would it look like if you experienced this same respect and understanding at work?

No matter what your relationships look like outside of work, day in and day out, understand your purpose in working together, your strengths and differences, and the respect that must be cultivated. Doing so will build trust – a critical element of any strong working relationship and company culture.

And a note of advice: A relationship doesn’t always equal deeply personal friendships, so you can keep workplace relationships to your comfort zone.

In Leading Your Team

Whether you are a manager or a top executive, you have the opportunity to build community and act relationally – something that will set you apart from others. Great leaders invest time and concern in their employees. They know their shortcomings, their strengths, and how they as a leader must help in the midst of their employees’ unique differences.

In recovery, mentors and leaders abound.

Whether you have a recovery coach or sponsor, in recovery, it’s common to have mature leaders investing in your life. And often, once you’re at a place of maturity, you’ll turn around and help others, too. Use this same experience and bring it to the workforce – whether you lead a team of 2 or 200, be the leader that invests in others. Teach them, guide them, mentor them and support them – this aspect of relationship cannot be stressed enough.

Stated best by Bob Proctor, “A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.”

Help others find their strengths and cultivate them to do their best at work and in recovery.  Similar to step twelve of Alcoholics Anonymous, being a great leader helps you “carry the message” and “practice those principles in all your affairs.”

In Expanding Your Networks

Successful entrepreneurs and professionals know how to build networks. Thinking outside of yourself and building community keeps recovery strong and is an asset at work. You need to work with a great team, have great leaders, but more often than not, you need to build a broader network, too.

In recovery, there is talk of other recovering addicts and alcoholics helping one another – helping each other find jobs, move into new homes, mow their lawns and everything in between. Recovery is a community – one that helps one another.

In networking, this principle can be equally as valuable. The best networking relationships are built off of give and take – bridge a connection, share a resource, and often the other person has something to offer as help to you. This is the beauty of vibrant communities on the job and in recovery. Use these same principles of recovery at your next networking event or in the walls of your company – expand your network by helping others, bridging gaps and building community.

Succinctly said in the promises of Alcoholics Anonymous, “We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.” In recovery, self-seeking slips away, often for the greater good of recovery, your community or fellowship. This is directly applicable to your professional life. How would your company look if everyone within your culture wanted one another to succeed?



Images Courtesy of iStock

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