I have often spoken about the importance of developing good relationships. I see good relationships as the glue that anchors success in all walks of life.
Social media has had a profound effect on the dissemination of news across the globe. An incident happens in one part of the world and, in an instant, the story is splashed across the world.
A recent Washington Post report reported clashes in Washington between President Donald Trump’s supporters and opponents over the outcome of the recent USA elections.
The report stated that “activists spewed profanity and shouted threats, threw punches and launched bottles. On both sides, people were bloodied, and at least 20 were arrested, including four whose allegiances remain unknown on gun charges. The chaos left two officers injured”
This is a classic example of the intolerance of different views. Without debating the merits or demerits of the issue what we have here is people reacting violently to each other’s divergent views.
Here are my 5 tips for good relationship building.
- Accept, celebrate, and embrace differences. One of the cornerstones of good relationship building is one’s ability to accept and celebrate differences. No two people are alike. Even identical twins are different. In coaching, we emphasize the fact that no two brains are alike.
Most people when creating or developing relationships look for people who think and behave like them. Imagine if we all thought, behaved, and liked the same things! That would be boring! The beauty of life lies in its diversity. Imagine if the only colour we knew was blue☹!! There’s magic in the multiplicity of colours.
Good relationship builders accept, celebrate, and embrace people’s diversity.
- Tame your devices. I was talking to someone the other day and we stumbled on the subject of electronic devices and how they are ‘running’ our lives. They are so intrusive right into your bedroom☹! I have seen people at functions ignoring human contact and spending almost all their entire time on their devices. Yes, we must stay in touch with loved ones but do not let these little things prevent you from face to face contact. Tame your devices by giving yourself ‘time off’ from them. Create a schedule where you put them to ‘sleep’ and carry on with your own life.
- Treat others the way you would like to be treated. This message was drummed into me from when I was a baby. My mother was big on this. Often, however, this is misunderstood to mean being nice to everyone at all times. It doesn’t mean that at all. It simply means treating people respectfully, honestly, fairly, without discrimination or victimisation. However, you should still be rebuked for bad behaviour, punished for wrongful conduct, and face the consequences of your actions. So always treat others the way you want to be treated.
- Remember the things that are important to others. When someone calls you by your name it sends a warm feeling inside of you. That act draws you close to that person. One senior lawyer I know always calls people he knows by their full names and, believe me, that always warms them up! Remembering things that are important to others is a wonderful way of building relationships. Remembering your spouse’s or, that close somebody’s, favourite perfume or deodorant, birthday, anniversary, and even so-called small things is a great way of building great relationships.
- Learn to give and take feedback. This is a clear sign of maturity. Feedback is always good for your growth. Feedback from your spouse, team members, work colleagues is always good. It often doesn’t come wrapped in nice packaging but even though it may hurt you must look for the nugget in it. Giving honest feedback helps both the giver and the receiver to grow. I have benefited from honest feedback given to me over the years. I ‘resented’ some of it back then but looking back I am grateful to those who were brave enough to share their views.
Building good relationships will always pay off in the long term and I urge you to invest in it. The Return on Investment is worth the effort. Be deliberate about it and it will pay off.