Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Who Killed Lincoln's Mother?

If you live in southern Indiana, you may know the answer to that question. 

Recently a friend of mine, Tony Cooke, who is a missionary and scholar, reminded me that Abraham Lincoln lived fourteen years in Indiana (1816-1830) and that his mother is buried in Lincoln State Park. 

He mentioned that Lincoln's mother died of milk sickness. 

In pioneer days, many people died of milk sickness, but back then, they didn't know what caused it. It was later determined that when cows ate a certain plant known as snakeroot that it did not, for the most part, hurt the cow, but the poison in the plant sickened and even killed humans. The fatality rate was so high that sometimes half the people in a frontier settlement might die of milk sickness. 

As business networkers and people who influence others, we spend a lot of time building valuable relationships. However, sometimes a relationship can be damaged by what seems like a mysterious reason ... much like the invisible snakeroot.

You are left wondering "What happened?"

Here are some "not-so-obvious" things that can negatively impact a business relationship. 

  • gossip
  • feeling under-valued
  • lack of attention
  • being left out of a conversation or invitation
  • teasing
  • poor communication
  • inconsistency
  • lack of trust
  • clashing belief systems or traditions
  • an air of superiority 
My friend, Tony, who has traveled all over the world training leaders and pastors, pointed out that people come from different backgrounds, different perspectives and different levels of maturity.  We need to be aware of invisible toxins that may impact, damage or even destroy relationships. 

By it's very nature, an invisible toxin is difficult to spot. However, by being aware of some of the not-so-obvious things that can damage a valuable relationship, you can be better prepared as a caring professional business person.

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