No man (or woman) is an island. We live in a society from which we draw strength and a reputation. In order to live a more meaningful and fulfilled life, many people are engaged in a purposeful life through relationships they have with other people – individuals, teams, and/or organizations. Let’s examine building relationships in order to strengthen our interactions within the community where we live – in order to make the world around us a better place.
Reasons to build a good relationship is consistent – throughout our adult lives:
- Relationships give meaning to our lives and to the work that we do. A group of people moving in the same direction make a bigger splash.
- Relationships give us validity and support us in all that we do – for the causes we work for or for our personal challenges.
- The more relationships we have, the better the relationship, the more effective we become in just about all that we do.
Building community relationships is at the center of “networking” which is what we do when we “get the word out.” Casual relationships are not what we are aiming for as we are building a networking group to help us with programs and projects for the organizations we work with in our communities – our clubs, organizations and our churches. Solid relations require trust and take a little time. In other words, you usually get what you give. A smile and a quick “How are you doing?” will start a relationship; but this will get you a smile and a quick “How is your sister doing?” in return. What we are striving to achieve is a meaningful relationship; and you will have to take this budding relationship that you get with the casual greeting to the next level when you engage your new-found friend and bring them into your network. This happens when you have done a bit of relationship-building and have started to build trust.
Start to build substantial relationships before you need them.
- Build one-on-one relationships.
- Broaden the relationship as needed – invite the person(s) into a closer circle of friends.
- Talk with the individual – not at them.
- Try to bring your two worlds together at some common ground.
- Don’t be intimidated or intimidating.
- Don’t lie.
Sustaining a relationship takes time and consistent “checking in” with the person on the other end of the relationship.
- Back each other up as needed.
- Be dependable – even if it means extending yourself for the relationship.
Building good relationships is the basis for keeping an organization (or even a marriage) running smoothly. Anything worth having is worth working for. All of us remember the bible verse taught by our Sunday school teachers “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This is a good motto for building and keeping your relationship solid.