Nightingale-Conant AdvantEdge Newsletter

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The following are some powerful, yet very simple things you can do to impact many important areas of your life — and each one will take you only a minute and a half. I call it The 90 Second Rule. Use these and you’ll see amazing results.

Greeting Your Family with the 90 Second Rule

Never before in our history has the family fabric been so eroded. And it’s been a slow erosion. We don’t eat meals together; we don’t know each other’s visions. Our communication has broken down, and there’s never been more stress and strain on a family than now. With workloads increasing, tension at an all-time-high level because of money and finances, and children graduating, yet not being able to find a job, there’s a lot of stress. And depression in children has never been higher. I see that all the time in my coaching.

I find that one of the rules that has been violated for the last 20 years, and I think it’s really been part of the fabric of our families eroding, is the 90 Second Rule.

If you’ve been away from someone whom you really love and really care about, at least two hours, the first 90 seconds that you see the person has more impact on the relationship than your spending hours and hours and hours with him or her later.

So when you drive home from a tough day at the office or a long road trip, you make that last phone call you need to, put that phone down, you turn that phone off, and you get your mind ready to go inside to the people whom you really love and care about.

And here’s how it works for families. Again, when you have been away from somebody you love for at least two hours, when you walk in that door, you go find your family in the house. Now, of course, when you first got married, you know, she’s waiting there or he’s waiting there for you at the door and everything’s great and the dog even shows up, and everything’s blissful. Now, maybe, when you come home, you have got to go find them. Don’t take off your coat. Don’t even put down your briefcase. Go find your family. And when you see them, if you have small children, hold them up. Don’t run and hug them; they want to run and hug you, especially if you been gone away even more than a few hours, maybe you’ve been gone away a few days; hold them up. Say, “Hold on, let me hug mommy or let me hug daddy.” That way you can show respect for Mom or Dad and you can also show your children how to greet a spouse.

But in that first 90 seconds, make eye contact. Look the person whom you love and care about directly in the eye. Look your children in the eye. Look your teenager in the eye. And then you use the technique I called mirroring. If your significant other is sad, then you say, “Are you okay? Did you have a bad day?” You need to really visually, physically, and with your vocals, go sad. That way you can take him or her up to a level of positivity. And if your children are excited, get excited! If your four- year-old wants to show you the boo-boo on his knee that he got obviously three or four hours ago, but it’s okay now, he says, “Dad, I hurt my leg.” Grab your leg and go “Really?” You hurt your leg?” as you’re holding on to your leg. Now you’ve bonded with someone you really care about. This first 90 seconds says “I miss you. I care about you. I need you. I value you in my life.” So make sure that you’re not violating the 90 Second Rule. And don’t just do it once or twice. Make it a routine. That’s how I go home.

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“I’ve used Jim Fannin’s system since 1996. It works.” —

MLB All-Star Alex Rodriguez

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