7th key of 7 Keys to Create Great Relationships





Key 7 of 7. Be willing to learn the principles of time management.


I have worked with many time poor executives over the past 23 years, in both corporate groups and as their executive coach. I am appalled by the quality of time management skills of most of them!

Become a master of your time, and you won’t be so busy! You will learn to protect your time and invest it in matters that are of importance to you, particularly the building of a great relationship. There are many sources available to become such a master. If you invest your time in developing these skills, you will enjoy a remarkable reduction in stress and a remarkable increase in your experience of the many joys of life.

My top five principles of time management that I practise, and have done so since 1979, are:

  1. Write down everything in your life that needs to be done. I prefer to write by hand rather than type because it becomes easier to ‘feel’ and ‘remember’.
  2. Have a fixed diary or workbook in which you write these things, and categorise them so you have different lists.
  3. Each day, prepare a list of what you want to achieve, and put them in priority order. Do the first one first, and do not the second until you are finished with the first.
  4. Make appointments with yourself, and block these appointments in your diary, at least one week in advance. This way, you do what is important, rather than focussing on what is urgent.
  5. Clarify the purpose, vision, and goals of your life, so that you are able to decide what YOUR relevant priorities are!


Charles B Kovess LL.B. (Hons), LL.M., MAICD, MAITD

Australasia’s Passion Provocateur©

Certified Speaking Professional






6th Key of 7 Keys to Creating Great Relationships

Key 6 of 7. Adopt the concept of ‘Parallel Thinking’.

Edward de Bono’s book ‘Parallel Thinking’ beautifully explores our 3000-year tradition of Western philosophical thought that proposes there is ‘truth’ to be discovered in almost every issue.

De Bono however says there are often times when competing ideas or thoughts can run ‘in parallel’ because there is no truth: for example, in designing a new outfit or a new building. Or perhaps when judging an art competition: what is the ‘best’ piece of art? This is highly likely to be unclear!

Another topical area of doubt is on questions of health and what is good for your health. In Australia, the medical profession is fighting hard to argue that only medical doctors have the ‘truth’ and that alternative health therapies are not effective.

At other times, it is clear that the ‘truth’ can be discovered. For example, if a bridge collapses, it is possible for experts to discover the true cause of the collapse. If there is a car accident, it is possible to discover the true cause of the crash.

By allowing parallel thoughts to run in your relationships, you become much more flexible, leading to less conflict about what is right, wrong, true or untrue, and you become much more lovable and fun to be with. This becomes easier through practice.

I have done lots of this over the years, and I recommend it. It is much harder, I concede, to implement this strategy on matters about which I am passionate, but that’s life!

Explore your opinions and beliefs in your relationships and look for ways to hold conflicting views in parallel: you do not have to fight to prove your opinion is ‘right’ or ‘true’.

5th Key of 7 Keys to Creating Great Relationships

Key 5: Allow others to be true to themselves

Release the need you may have for other people to behave in ways that suit you. If you are going to adopt my strong advice to be true to yourself, then allow others to do the same. That way, you can more quickly decide whether you are truly attracted to another person, or whether it’s their ‘act’ that has drawn you in.

You protect your precious time by using this strategy! You can get on and live passionately rather than being deluded.

A recent challenging movie on this topic is “The Invention of Lying”, starring Ricky Gervais (of ‘The Office’ fame) and Jennifer Garner. The movie premise is that no one knows how to lie. Ricky meets Jennifer, and it is amazing what brutal honesty on a first date looks like. It would save you so much time! Watch the movie and observe how you react to it.

Of course, it is often dangerous playing the honesty game. People might, and can, use your honesty against you. It has happened to me in the past on many occasions. Still, my time is more precious and valuable than to waste it: in almost the blink of an eye, we are dead, the planet will remain, and our lives are like a blink of the universe.

Charles B Kovess LL.B. (Hons), LL.M., MAICD, MAITD
Australasia’s Passion Provocateur©
Certified Speaking Professional

4th Key of 7 Keys to Creating Great Relationships

Key 4: The value of, and need for, vulnerability!

I was taught by a Jesuit Priest a long time ago that when vulnerability meets vulnerability, it creates intimacy.

Intimacy is the precondition and hallmark of a great relationship.

When you are vulnerable, open, honest, courageous, and true to yourself, the other person is more likely to feel your essence and respond similarly. Then intimacy can be built and reinforced, and you will have less need to spend time proving your commitment to the relationship. The other person will become less demanding of your time because the confidence generated by intimacy is a powerful glue that holds the relationship in a safe place.

Why is vulnerability so terrifying and thereby difficult for so many people?

Because, by definition, we are exposing our weaknesses, our soft side, our ‘vulnerable’ spots. And by doing so, we give another person the opportunity to more easily hurt us. The fear of emotional hurt can be a huge block to you having the great relationships you want.

My philosophy is clear: it is better to love and lose, than never to be loved at all. Take the risk of being hurt. You might end up with the love of your life! You might end up with a series of great relationships that make your life the envy of others.


Charles B Kovess LL.B. (Hons), LL.M., MAICD, MAITD
Australasia’s Passion Provocateur©
Certified Speaking Professional

“3rd Key of 7 Keys to Creating Great Relationships

Key 3: Take the risk and simplify your life.

Far too much ‘stuff’ in our lives does not fulfil us, nurture us, or give us lasting joy. We have spent vast amounts of money on this ‘stuff’. In many cases, we have wasted that money.

When you discover your passion, you become more able to decide what is important to you. You are willing and able to discard unnecessary complexities that you are hoarding, or pursuing, ‘just in case’ they might make you happy.

Taking the risk and simplifying your life will create time for you to devote to a relationship that has been created because you are being true to you. It is a risk because you may discard something that, in future, you discover you actually need.

Take the risk anyway!

Here are two strategies to help you simplify.

Firstly, consciously observe what the media is trying to sell to you, and then consciously test whether you are being seduced to do what, in your heart of hearts, you really do not want to do! Consciousness is the key, and understanding how powerful this resource can be will help you to work on improving your level of consciousness.

Secondly, donate or even throw away goods and things that are not essential for you. We sometimes spend too much time in finding a good home for superfluous ‘stuff’: just dump it, protect your precious time, and the pain of dumping expensive stuff will be a big help in avoiding being seduced to buy more stuff in the future!


Charles B Kovess LL.B. (Hons), LL.M., MAICD, MAITD
Australasia’s Passion Provocateur©
Certified Speaking Professional