Trainer Tip: We can improve our relationships by focusing our attention first on connection instead of other stragegies. Trainer Tip I am not easily frightened. Not because I am bravebut because I know that I am dealing with humanbeings, and that I must try as hard as I can tounderstand everything that anyone ever does.—Etty Hillesum, Holocaust victim Compassionate Communication suggests that improving the quality of our relationships is a primary goal. Indeed, that connection with ourselves and other people takes a higher priority than being right, winning, making more money, or looking good to other people. If you focus on improving the quality of your relationships through deeper connections, you will improve the state of your life, enhance the peace and love in your life, and feel better about yourself. I learned this through personal experience. I worked from time to time with a business colleague. Over the years, our relationship deteriorated to the point where we had no civil connections with each other. Our association was worst just as I was starting to look at how I contributed to the angst in my relationships. As a result, I started to focus more on my connections with people rather than trying to be right or to win arguments. Within a remarkably short time, my colleague was telling me how much she admired the changes I was making and how much she enjoyed her relationship with me. We both expressed our sadness for our earlier behaviors. Today, we are close colleagues who work together in a variety of projects and easily call each other a friend. When you shift your focus to valuing your connection with other people, you improve the quality of your life and your relationships. Everyone who crosses your path will benefit from this shift of focus. It is inevitable. Be aware today of the times when your priority is towin or to be right rather than to connect, then shiftyour focus to connection with others. This trainer tip is an excerpt from Mary Mackenzie's book Peaceful Living, available from PuddleDancer Press.