"You just need to feel comfortable," the ad on Airbnb said. That was a year ago now. And since then, Mario Sudmann has been meeting nice people again and again. "On the train the other day, I asked a young man the question, 'What makes your life worth living?' He shut the laptop and we chatted for three hours. "Actually, I just wanted to check a survey with him. According to it, 85.4% find it particularly desirable to have a close relationship with another person," Mario Sudmann let the audience know at the speaker night at the Volksbühne in Cologne. "Someone we can confide in and share our worries with. Do you also have such a close relationship with your colleagues in your professional environment as you do in your private life?"
A relationship account full of affection
The speaker has been a technician in the aircraft industry for just over 30 years. "But over the years I have noticed: Even the best method doesn't create change on its own. We have to win over the people first and bring them together. Projects don't fail because of a lack of technical prerequisites. It's a lack of relationships among people! And you have that in you, that you can relate to others as a social being." Mario likes to use the metaphor of the relationship account. Only the currency here is not money, but affection, kindness and interest - if the account is well filled, then it creates trust and interest.
Mario Sudmann: "Deposits into the relationship account can change lives".
How do you feel when you can't feel the affection and love of those around you? "Ten years ago, I experienced a deposit that changed my life. On February 7, my wife came into the bedroom in the morning. Our second baby was making her way sooner than planned. During the first checkup at the hospital, the doctors diagnosed pregnancy toxicity. Thankfully, the birth went well. But after that, there were always moments when we, as parents, had to take a deep breath. I felt like I was in the wrong movie. My wife had gone through four and a half hours of emergency surgery and on the other hand, there was our daughter that I wanted to cuddle with. A nurse put a hand on my shoulder and asked how I was doing..."
"I couldn't have lived my role as a father more intensely!"
"That day I understood what was actually important in life: I call the company the next day, give up a management position and take a two-month leave of absence. I take care of our two daughters at home, while my wife has to stay in intensive care for another 14 days. I couldn't have lived my role as a father more intensively," says Mario Sudmann.
Mario Sudmann: "Be open to your life".
With children, you can always see that they are open to life. We adults, on the other hand, stand behind a protective facade. Why? Have we been lied to? Have we been lied to? Violated our values? Betrayed our secrets? "I guess if you've had experiences like that, it's not surprising if our ego protects us. Maybe you'll have thoughts like, "You can't do this to me! What does that stupid cow think she's doing? Who does that weirdo think he is?" says Mario. That's how we make debits from the relationship account.
Deposits to the relationship account will get you further!
Yet it's the deposits that keep us going. "So how about approaching someone with curiosity and interest? If you take a leap of faith like a newly in love, or dive into the fantasy world of your children? Feel free to observe yourself over the next few weeks! Because the debits are made by your injured ego and the deposits are made with your heart," the family father knows from his own experience.
Mario Sudmann: "Create a framework of acceptance".
In the working world, everything is different. There, people deal with each other in a professional and correct manner. We inform, discuss and escalate. But we need teams that want to create something together. "What is sometimes neglected in day-to-day business, I therefore create in my workshops. There is a framework of acceptance, openness and a lot of appreciation. Because I believe that if we want growth - whether in the company or for ourselves and our children - then we need closeness and connection with each other."
What really matters in your life?
Two and a half years ago, there was a deposit into a very special account. Early October 2017. "I'm in the car on the way back. We got tickets to Gedankentanken's speaker night. But a call from my mom brought me back down to earth. My father was not well! A few hours later, I'm sitting at the edge of his bed holding his hand." Clearly there was a lump, no a lump, in Mario's throat. "Dad, I'll take care of everything," I promised him. A few days later. I sit by his bed again and ask if he is afraid of dying. "Yes," he says, "why?"-"Because you don't know what it's like where you're going?"
Invest in relationships!
"Today I have a picture I'd like to share with you: It smells like spring there. My father lives in a modest hut on the edge of the village. There are some trees and a green meadow there. He can rest on the bench in front of his house. I am so happy and grateful that I was allowed to accompany him," Mario Sudmann looks back with emotion. At the end of life, there is only one currency that is really worth something: "Invest in relationships! By taking your ego back a little bit and putting yourself at the service of the weaker ones. Maybe yes, by being tolerant and understanding fun - like I experience with my handballer friends. Or by being mindful and empathetic, as I was with my father."
Don't get tired of continuing to deposit into your account!
"How many times in my life have I heard 'Daddy look!' Like our children, we grown-ups just want to be seen. The little ones sue for it. What about us adults? Do we even know what that feels like anymore?" asks Mario Sudmann to the group. "Every deposit I've made has paid off, too. My plea to you is don't get tired of continuing to deposit into your account. Keep at it. And don't wait for the right moment, choose it yourself. Start today!"
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