Kendal's Podcast

Ep. 8 – The Power Of Positive Relationships: Enrich Your Circle Of Influence


Hey, this is Kendal Netmaker, Netmaker coming to you live from the studio, and today we’re gonna be talking about the power of positive relationships, how to enrich your circle of influence so that you can succeed with the help of people around you. You may be going through a phase in your life, your career, your business, and so on. And you may be wondering why things aren’t working out the way you had hoped, the way you had planned, and so on. I want to share with you that sometimes our relationships, especially with those who are closest to us, have a big impact with our future success. And I didn’t realize this when I was growing my first company. I didn’t realize this when I became a speaker. How much more the further I went in my life, my career and so on, how much more I had to work on those relationships and make sure that they were positive because the more positive they were, the more I felt good about myself, the more I felt good about who I was serving, my customers and so on, the more confident I became on stage.

Our direct relationships with the people who are closest with us has an impact on how happy we are, how our physical wellbeing is and so on. There’s a saying that happy at home means happy at work, and I believe that. And in this recording, I’m gonna be sharing with you seven keys to take you from where you are to where you want to be and create positive relationships in the process. It’s really difficult to have a positive relationship with anyone if you don’t have one with yourself. The first key I want to share with you to creating a positive relationship with anyone in your life is, number one, your first relationship should be with the creator or God or whoever it is that you pray to. We all have a common belief system in terms of who we pray to for ourselves as First Nations people.

We call him Creator. And we have a Cree word where we call him that as well. And when we pray, we pray and call him that in Cree. This first one I want to share with you, I want to share with you a story you see up until I was about 20 years old, I was very confused about who I was as an individual. I was a very unhappy person. I was kind of miserable. I didn’t know how to create relationships, I didn’t know how to nurture relationships and so on. And when I was about 20 years old, I found myself back home and I remember talking to my mother and I was telling her about all the things I was going through, all the, all the pain, all the bad relationships. In fact, I had just found out that after almost a year of raising my son to only find out that he was no longer my son.

And it was awful. It was heartbreaking for myself. I had grown to love this kid and I told my mom and I was pouring my heart out to her. At the end of the conversation, she stopped me and she said, I want to tell you a story about someone who’s very close to you and someone who’s no longer here. She said, it’s about your grandma. You kokum. She said long, long ago, when they had those residential schools, they used to have wagons that would come to our reservations, our reserves, and take children from their homes, put ’em in those schools where they weren’t allowed to practice their culture, our our spirituality, even speak their language and so on. And they would be abused if they did.

Your grandma, your kokum, was one of the few people in her family who was able to avoid those schools. She was able to keep her culture, her spirituality, her belief system. She passed it on to me. However, your grandpa, my dad, she says, went to those residential schools as a result. Unfortunately, he died when he was only 49 years old. And it always bothered me. I used to get a tight belly, I would be anxious all the time and nervous and so on. And he asked me to make him breakfast one day and I told him to do it yourself. And this is all in Cree. Your grandmother heard from the other room and she pulled me aside outside the house and she said, if you don’t like the way things are right now, when you get a chance, you go and change it for yourself.

And she turned and she walked away and my mother turned to me and she says, and my mother turned to me and said, you’re still young. You’re only 20 years old. You have your whole life ahead of you. If you don’t like the way things are right now in this present moment, go and change it for yourself. You still have time to do that. So that summer we had a ceremony. And at the ceremony I had to fast, I had to to dance and so on. I had to do that for four days and so on. At the end of that, I remember going back to university that that fall and that fall after going through ceremony and whatnot and reigniting my belief system with creator, I was able to find my wife Rachel at university. Not long after that, me and Rachel, we would have our first son Keanu.

Not long after that, I would start my first successful business neechie year. Not long after that, I would create and build a speaking business, a coaching company. I created a nonprofit that would help indigenous youth across the country and so on. So many things happen because of this. The first key to having a positive relationship is the first one is you must have a positive relationship with creator with God. Key number two is you must also have a positive relationship with yourself as an individual. Far too often we are very hard on ourself. When we do something wrong, we we, we, we find a reason to inflict pain upon ourself, whether it be through harsh self-talk being mean to ourselves and so on. I want to encourage you to create positive self-talk in our dialogue, in your, your mind. Sometimes some of us, our negative self-talk is so bad that it stops us from ever doing stuff.

It stops us from going after our dream because we become so focused on what other people think about us, that we ignore what it could do for us to take that opportunity. If we would use more of our own positive self-talk to help uplift us through tough times, we could be more positive for other people. Being positive means that you have to be positive, you have to work on yourself. It’s a continual evolvement. It’s a continual growth cycle that you have to always be investing in. Create simple mantras that help get you out of painful situations, out of bad relationships and so on. You must be able to look after yourself, greet day every single day. In the same way, create a ritual. Create a routine that allows you to wake up every single day happy and able to conquer the day and use your gift.

Use what you’re there in this planet to do. Use what you’re meant to do in this moment. Number two is you must be able to have a positive relationship with yourself. Take care of yourself. Look after your body. Put the right nutrients into it. Eat the right stuff. Go for walks, do exercise and so on. Take care of yourself. Key number two, you must have a positive relationship with yourself. Number three is that you must develop a positive relationship with either your husband, your wife, your boyfriend, girlfriend, people that are closest to you, your kids, and so on. Those relationships are super important because those are the people that are gonna see you in your best days, but also in your not so best days. When times when you’re going through struggle, when you’re going through pain, when you’re going through an obstacle, those people need to see you up as much as they possibly can.

And it starts with you developing a positive relationship with them and letting them know that sometimes, some days you’re gonna have tough days, some days you’re gonna be struggling. One of the things that really helped me was I took it upon myself to, especially when my son was born, I made a decision that I was going to abstain from alcohol. Thankfully I wasn’t into drugs but alcohol. I used to go out for drinks with my buddies and so on. And we, it became a social habit. I made a decision I was going to give all that stuff up and I was gonna focus on my inner circle, my family, my wife, my now two children. And the more I focused on them, the more focused I would become on my gift, my career, my business, the people who I was impacting. Those people are most important in this moment that we’re having right now.

Really take your time to develop this. As you develop your relationship with creator, with yourself, relationship with yourself has an impact. And it’s a reflection on how you treat people, how you treat your wife, your husband, your children, and so on. This is a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself. So if you have a hard time telling people that I love you, you need to start using these simple words to help other people. Because I had a hard time saying that. I had a hard time saying, I love you. Even to my wife. I had a hard time saying, you look beautiful today. I had a hard time saying that I’m proud of you. These were, these were things that I didn’t get a lot of growing up, so I had to go back and reprogram myself. I had to go back and realize that some of the things that I had grown up with weren’t so positive.

And you’re gonna actually create more obstacles in my personal relationships. So as you’re growing, you must understand that sometimes the way that we’ve been programmed ever since we were a kid, doesn’t come in service, right? Doesn’t come in, enrich our positive relationship with the people that are closest to us. And because I didn’t know this, we would have to go through a lot of relationship counseling. I got personal counseling ’cause I did not know how to communicate effectively to the people that were close to me. But the more I was able to express through counseling, through coaching and so on, I was able to understand that, you know what? I do need to work on myself. I do need to start saying this more because I did not realize that I was starving the people closest to me from that nourishment, from those positive words, from that positive behavior and so on.

Don’t be afraid to seek counseling. Don’t be afraid to seek coaching. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, because those people that are closest to you, your, your spouse, your children, those are the people that are gonna be looking to you for inspiration. And if you stop and you take a moment to really think about this right now, you need to understand something. If you fix this now, when your children become teenagers and become young adults, they’re gonna be more set up and able to help themselves when maybe you’re too busy working on your business, maybe you’re too busy with your career. A lot of the problems that are out there is because as parents, we don’t do a good job at an early age. We don’t do a good job with communicating to our children that we love them. We don’t do a good job of letting our children know that we appreciate them by spending a lot of present time with them.

I really take a lot of pride in this because I have been working a lot on my personal development, and especially with my family, building a positive relationship with them. You see in your career, in your, in your organization, you are gonna hit peaks, you’re gonna hit walls. And those are all tests. Those are all blessings in disguise if you want to call ’em that. And eventually you’re gonna hit something that really shakes you up. It’s going to be so much more helpful if your family life is been worked at, has been nurtured up to this point. Because if, if you’ve been working at this, you’ve been communicating with your spouse, with your children and so on, when you find and you’ve hit these walls, you are gonna be able to conquer those obstacles more effectively as opposed to reacting to them. Oftentimes I see people when they have this big wall, this big obstacle that comes into their life, they take it out on their family. That is the worst thing that you could do in times where you’re, where you’re trying to go through an obstacle. When you’re trying to go through one of life’s greatest challenges, work on your family, work on your kinship, work on the people that are closest to you. Work with your relationship with your children. ’cause when those times come, when you need them to be there for you most, they will be there to step up to help guide you along the way.

The fourth key to developing a positive relationship so that you can enrich the circle of influence around you is the relationship with your parents and your siblings, if you have any, especially if you are able to be blessed and still have your parents living. This is very important. I was told at a young age, especially as a young kid, that from my grandmother, my kokum would always say, you have to respect and forgive your parents, especially if they’re not there for you. And I had a hard time with that, especially with my father not being in my life. It really bothered me up until I was a young man and it affected me growing up. And there were things, especially like growing up that even my mother did not realize that sometimes would inhibit my success journey. And one of those was, she never really said that.

I was proud of you. I was really happy for you doing this certain stuff and so on. So it conditioned me unintentionally to always want to strive for more. The more I accomplished something I never felt fully in the moment. I always felt like I was gonna do more, I needed more, I needed more, I needed more. And in a way it became an advantage, but also a disadvantage. So to this present moment, I, I tell my kids I’m proud of them, especially when they need to hear it, because I never got that growing up. I never got that, you know, it was tough for me. I never really heard, I love you from my dad. So I was deprived from these basic things growing up. So when I became a young man, I made a decision I was gonna try and be a better person.

I was gonna try help those closest to me by being a better father, by being a better husband and so on. One of the things I also had to learn to do was to forgive people. I had to forgive myself very first and foremost for all the pain I had inflicted on past friends, from family members and so on. I had to forgive myself and I had to realize that that was me in the past and this is a new person stepping into this day, and I’m gonna be a better person for those closest to me because the more I’m better for the people closest to me, the more the world can get the benefits from that. For those of you who don’t know, I wrote this book called Driven to Succeed. And when I had written this book, it was a very difficult book to write because it’s a memoir.

It’s about me from birth up until a present moment where I’d just got into this speaking career and my career was thriving. And up until this point, I never really had a, a very close relationship with my father. And one day I told my dad at a, our very first coffee meeting we ever had, I gave him my manuscript of my book. And I told him, I said, dad, you know, I really want you to read this, but I want to let you know you’re not gonna like this. He took that book and he, he took it home. And unfortunately we didn’t talk for, for, for over a year, 14 months, we didn’t talk. It created a lot of negativity between us. And I always wondered how my dad was doing. And one day Father’s Day came up and I said, you know what, I’m gonna talk to him.

We created a meeting and I was able to go down to the reserve and I talked with him. And in our First Nations culture, it’s customary to give tobacco when you’re gonna talk to someone and have like a conversation, especially if you’re gonna seek knowledge and you need someone to listen to you and so on. I gave him tobacco and I said, you know what, dad? I just want to tell you that I I forgive you and I’m sorry for if I hurt you, because there were things in the book that hurt him. And he looks at me and he says, you know what, son? I already forgave you. And from that moment, our relationship has been stronger than ever. We text each other now, we call each other and so on. You know, it’s the bond right there. And being able to let the ego down and say, you know what?

I’m gonna go forgive someone today. I’m gonna forgive that person that hurt me back in the day. I’m gonna forgive that, that family member, that friend and so on. The more you do that, the more your life is gonna be more positive. But here’s the thing, do it for yourself. Even if they don’t listen to you, do it for yourself. Because if you don’t look after yourself, how can you look after other people? It starts with you. Be able to forgive those around you, especially if they haven’t been in your life, especially if they’ve caused you pain, family members, those closest to you. I have to do that with my father, my mother, my siblings even. We’re very much close to this day. We make sure that we are all in this together. And I also make it very clear with them that I, I love them. I care for all of them. I let them know and I share with them and I invite ’em over for supper. We’re always having gatherings and so on, and I’m always wanting to, to be part of their life. Whatever phase, whatever part of their life that they’re going through, I always try to touch base and make sure that they’re going through the right things. Because if I can help them in a certain way, I will. And vice versa. Key number four is developing that positive relationship with your parents and your siblings.

Key number five is to develop a positive relationship with your closest friends. It’s very difficult to try to be a friend to every single person out there. And you’re going to find that as you are growing in your success journey, you are gonna discover something that not every single friend that you have has your best interest in mind. They’re not all gonna want you to succeed. When I started my company Neechie Gear, that was the first thing I realized. You see, I was this volleyball jock, if you will. I had all these different friends, all these different people that I used to hang with and so on. And when I started to have success as a businessman, I started to realize who my true friends were. Some of them would, would call me down. I remember I used to tell people I was gonna be the next Lululemon.

I was gonna have my own stores, my own brand, neechie gear. And people would laugh. Friends would be like, oh my gosh, this guy’s crazy. And when I started to open my own stores, I started to realize who my real friends were. And I started to make time only for those who had my best interests at heart, who really supported me. And I had no choice but to make less time for those who didn’t really care for me succeeding. Because the more negativity I would absorb from them, the more everything else I was working towards would suffer. You see, it’s very important to have the right friends, the right circle of influence around you. And those people that are closest to you, your family members, your friends and so on, they will impact how far you go. So if you want to go further, you have to make sure that you have the right friends around you.

Key number six is to develop a positive relationship with the people that you work with, your coworkers, your team members, and so on. So often we go into workplaces and we find that there’s negative environments, or they feel disconnected to the leaders, to the, to the managers, to the directors and so on. It’s your job as a leader to create a positive working environment that allows people to use their gifts, to use what they’re good at, to thrive in environments and so on. One of the things I want to share with you is a simple exercise that we use when we go and do training, when we do workshops for organizations and so on. And it’s a simple exercise where you get your team members to be in small groups and you get them to share something that they’re going through, whether it be an obstacle, whether it be something that they’re, they’re some, some life altering situation that they’re going through.

And they share that with a group of four to five people. And everyone gets a chance to share their story, whether it be five, 10 minutes each. At the end of the first person that finishes their story, everyone is listening attentively and they all have to write on a piece of paper. I like your story because, and they have to fill in something positive. And now the person that had just finished sharing their story, they’re listening to every single team member telling them what they liked about their story. At the end of those exercises, that person feels so empowered to share more, to thrive more. And we have seen and noticed that every single place that we’ve gone and done this with their rapport has improved. Their teamwork has improved, their confidence has improved, and so on. So many amazing things has happened because of this, build relationships with your coworkers because you do not know who’s gonna come and help you in the future.

You don’t know who you’re gonna need in the future. When you do these simple things, it allows you to deal with conflict even better, because maybe you know this person’s story, you know what they have gone through, and you might approach them differently. If you heard something negative and you, you have a conflict, you might approach them differently. Another thing I want you to think about is when you’re giving praise to a, a certain person, and maybe you need to give some constructive criticism at the same time, it’s very important that you remove the word but from your vocabulary. ’cause a lot of people will say, you know, great job doing this with this customer today, but And they say something negative. What you have just done there for a certain person is you just told them that the first thing before, but doesn’t matter.

Everything you said after but is what you wanted to focus on. And it’s usually negative. Change it to this, Hey, hey Gerald, you know, I really appreciate you doing this for this customer. And so on. He knew, he just called me and he said, thank you to Gerald. And he, you really looked after him and next time, maybe it’d be best if we, we allowed you to do this, this, and that to improve the customer experience. See, it’s more positive now. Your team member will absorb the positive and the constructive criticism into one. It’s more healthier. It’s a more clearer way of communicating and allowing them to absorb that so that they can be an effective team member for yourself. And your relationship will be more nurtured for the future. Say more and and less. But the more you let your coworkers know that you’re there for them, what you’re going to create in that relationship is you’re gonna create a second family for themselves.

Because you don’t know what other people are going through. You don’t know what they’re going through in their marriage, with their children, with their family life and so on. And you could be a, a key link to helping them thrive through tough times. Create this environment and you’ll watch that your organization will thrive, their family life will thrive, your personal relationship with them will thrive and it all flows in harmony. Key number seven is to have a positive relationship, even with strangers, people you don’t even know every single day. I want to share with you one simple thing. You do not know who is going to be your next boss, who is gonna be your next customer. So it’s very important that you treat people with respect, that you be courteous to one another. I’m not saying go outta your way just to be helpful to every single person.

All I’m saying is in a public environment, try to be positive. Try to be courteous because if you let someone see you on your worst day and you see them next day in a board meeting that you never realized that they were gonna be at, how would you feel? How would you feel that the next person that’s gonna interview you saw you on the street getting mad and, and, and on a phone call and so on. You must make sure that how you treat yourself, your inner dialogue is a reflection to the public eye, to strangers and so on. How you treat people out there comes back to benefit you or hurt you in the long run. That’s key. Number seven is having a positive relationship with the people out there, especially the ones that you don’t even know. So those are the seven keys of the power of positive relationships.

So let’s recap. Number one is a relationship with creator with God. That is the number one thing that you should focus on right outta the gate. Strengthen that and watch everything else. Strengthen beyond that. Number two, yourself being nice to yourself. Positive, positive self care. You become a mirror of how you feel about yourself and people. You ever notice that people when they’re happy, you just know they’re happy because they, you can tell by how they look and their energy around them, how they’re walking and so on. Be positive with yourself. Have a positive relationship with how you look at yourself and the mirror every single day. And that becomes a reflection to the world. Number three, the relationship that you have with your family. The people closest to you, your spouse, your husband, your wife, your kids, they’re all looking to you and they’re all looking up to you, especially in times when there’s obstacles.

When there’s highs and lows and so on. They’re looking to you and they’re looking up to you as a role model. Number five, the relationship you have with your friends. Keep your circle pretty close because if you have it big, you’re gonna start getting feedback from people that are not very educated, not very relevant, and they’re not gonna really help in support you to where you want to be in your life. One of the things with a lot of leaders is the further they go, the more they have to let go of. And sometimes it’s certain family members that are negative, certain friends that are negative and so on. Number six, the relationship that you have with your coworkers, the people that you’re working with every single day. Be more positive, be more courteous to them ’cause you don’t know when you’re gonna need them.

In times of obstacles, in times where you need to increase the sales, where you need to work after this customer and so on. Watch your relationship with your customers. Watch the relationship with your coworkers. Your coworkers are the missing link between you and the places that you need to serve in your organization and career. And number seven, having a positive relationship with strangers. People that don’t even know who you are, it’s very important that you be courteous, you be kind to other people, you treat people with respect because you don’t know who’s gonna be your next boss. You don’t know who’s gonna be your next customer. You don’t know who’s gonna give your next opportunity. And that my friend, is the power of building positive relationships. Because the more you build this and you enrich your circle of influence, the more harmony comes with your organization, your life, your career and so on that my friend took me from a kid living in my community to becoming one of Canada’s top 40 under 40 and one of the top rated speakers in this country.

I want to wrap this up with one simple story. Several years ago I had my high school reunion and I got this email and I remember one of the contacts on the list was a guy I I had graduated with. And just so happened that he inboxed me the next day and he says, Hey Kendal, you know I want to become successful. I want to become an entrepreneur. Can you help me out this, this and that? And before I even replied, I went to the guy’s Facebook page. Little to my surprise, I had seen that this person was doing the same thing he was doing since we graduated high school, hanging with the same people, hanging out the same bars, doing the same things on the weekend. Now there is a connection with that. If you want to be successful in your life, your career, you have to watch who you hang out with.

You want to be successful, you have to sacrifice certain daily habits that maybe don’t serve you for the future. You have to enrich your circle of influence so that you can get to where you want much quicker. There’s a saying that you become closest to the top five people that you hang out with every single day. So if you want to get somewhere faster, watch your circle of influence. The further you go in your life, in your career, the more that this needs to be worked on. So I encourage you and IE challenge you to work on your relationship, especially with those that are closest to you. ’cause the more you do this, the more that they’re gonna be happy. You are gonna be happy and your career will likely have a good chance to go where you expect it to be in your career. I’m wishing you all the best and I want to thank you for listening to this recording. Keep moving forward!


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