How To Win In Relationships

Leadership is about influencing others and influencing others starts with a relationship. Every leader needs to have the ability to start and build relationships with others. Stanley C. Allyn said, “The most useful person in the world is the man or women who know how to get along with other people. Human relations are the most important science in living.” An essential aspect of leading is in building relationships.

Some aspects of a positive and healthy relationship include: trust, honesty, respect, support, open communication, loyalty, and kindness. Some destructive aspects of a relationship include: pride, jealously, closed communication, bad attitude, unrealistic, and having low character or morals. When it comes to leading successfully we need to focus on the healthy aspect of a relationship. Harry Gordon Selfridge, a 20th century business man, talks about the difference between a leader and boss. Here is what he said:

The boss drives people, the leader coaches them.

The boss depends upon authority; the leader, on good will.

The boss say’s “I”; the leader, “We.”

The boss knows how it is done; the leader shows how.

The boss says “Go!” the leader, “Let’s go.”

What a powerful example of the difference between a relational leader and boss. If we want to win in relationships then let’s remember and apply these principles:

Fully Listen- I have noticed leaders tend to have a hard time fully listening and engaging in conversation. We need to make it a point to talk less and dismiss outside distractions when talking with other people.

Compliment- The best leaders sincerely compliment others. This shows the person you care enough to say something positive about them. My wife is the best at doing this. She is always observing and complimenting others. It might be complimenting a good suggestion or something the other person has done.

The Golden Rule- This is something everyone knows but not everyone does. Let’s remember to, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Add Value- Adding value to others shows you care about them and the relationship. One way to provide value to others is sharing resources with them. For example, when I hear someone who would benefit from a book I’ve read I recommend the book to them or offer to loan it to them. This is just one of many ways you can add value to others.

See The Best- John Maxwell says, “Put a 10 over everyone’s head.” Meaning we should see and expect the best from others. The next time you’re talking with someone see and expect the best in them.

If you apply these principles into your leadership then your relationships will grow and flourish.

Question: What are some other ways you can win in relationships?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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38 thoughts on “How To Win In Relationships

  1. Good post Dan. I am glad you have delineated the difference between a relational leader and a boss. Too many pastors have taken the corporate cue that we are bosses and have forgone the relationship handle.

    • I have learned through having a lot of bosses the negative effects it causes, to the people and organization.

      I really liked you mentioned pastors as well. I think when a church leader forgets about the people and starts running the church like a business, it’s in a dangers place. I know you would agree with me saying this.

  2. These are all great things. I would add to that a genuine concern for the wellbeing of others. When you give so that others will benefit, and not just so that you will receive in return, then you end up receiving much more in return.

  3. Great points! I really like your examples of the differences b/t a boss and a leader, powerful!

    Also, I can report you to others that you “practice what you preach” in lending books to others. You offered me the 360 degree leader when I mentioned I wanted to read it! Great job at living out your words.

    • Glad you enjoyed it. I also really like that quote.

      Thank you. Did you get the book yet? Because of Christmas and being so busy I did not send it as soon as I would have liked. But you should have gotten it by now. :)

  4. Dan, it baffles me why the majority of bosses are the same. We’re they never taught Leadership skills. It just goes to show that a title does not make a Leader. Awesome points.

    • I have seen many bosses who can’t lead or relate with other people. This only demotivates workers and leads to lack of progress. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Your advice of being others focused and not self-interested is spot on. I know of an employer among my circle of acquaintances who makes it about himself whenever possible. His turnover rate is through the roof, as no one wants to work for someone who doesn’t invest in his employees. Some pretty big lessons in that for how not to lead. Great post, Dan!

    • I have a coworker the same way and no one wants to be around him. People like this often have self esteem issues and/or pride issues. The challenging thing is to treat them with respect no matter how they treat us or others.

      People have taught me a lot about how not to lead. Thank you for adding value to the post.

        • It’s easy to know what we need to do but sometimes a challenge to show God in and through us. I’m not perfect at this but working on it.

  6. You kind of mentioned this above, but I tend to make it my own category whenever talking about leadership: Call out the potential in people.

    I’ve noticed too often that people don’t see the potential within themselves, and so they don’t step up, they don’t volunteer, don’t get involved…and miss out on what God might be calling them to. I would say a part of my ministry is really just seeing potential in these kids, showing it to them, and then giving them opportunities to reach it.

    • So true, I found this to be powerful especially when working with Jr. Highers and High School students. They often can’t see their own potential and it takes someone to pull that out of them and show them how great they are. Glad you share these thoughts.

  7. Great thoughts! You might also add “Be Authentic.” Some leaders (especially young ones), “try” to be all the things you mentioned. We “try” to listen. We “try” to add value. We “try” to compliment. It’s so much more than that, though!

    Genuine leaders actually “want” to hear what others say. They actually “want” to add value.

    Recently, when discussing a young employee on my staff, another team member asked about how much we should invest to get him ready for the job.

    My response was, “We are not investing in him for the job. We are investing in him.” He was very responsive and understood, the new young employee was more important than the job.

    Even if you have to let someone go, it has to be because the leader genuinely cares about their future.

    Good post, Dan!

  8. I have found that being consistant and honest are the keys to any relationship. If you say what you mean, and mean what you say, and are a stable influence you can do wonders for others.

    • What a great aspect of good relationships. I have seen many benefits from asking open-ended questions. Another plus, is that the conversation lasts longer. Because it allows the other person to talk more. Thank you for adding to the discussion.

  9. I believe in giving people my heart. John C. Maxwell said: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. It’s so true, it has helped me better relationships with people around me.

  10. I believe in giving people my heart. John C. Maxwell said: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. It’s so true, it has helped me better relationships with people around me.

  11. I have read many times before to “compliment publicly, criticize privately”. This principle has served me well so far, as I’ve applied it. Unfortunately, on two occasions I was confronted in front of others and did not keep my cool.
    Both of those team members are long gone, but I still regret giving in to confrontation, and in front of other team members, no less.
    In my profession, lives are literally at stake, so emotions typically run pretty high, but as a supervisor, it is my top priority to let team members know how much I appreciate them…
    …an added benefit to that is it makes the difficult situations easier to get past!

    • Scott,

      This is such an important thing to remember. If we forget it could cause the people around us to lose trust in us. Thank you for stopping by to read and join in on the conversation. By the way, where do you work?

      • I work as a Cat Scan supervisor of 15 in a 750 bed, level 2 trauma center. It is a stroke hospital, and the ER holds 50 beds (and they are filled as quickly as they are emptied).
        We can go from sitting around chatting to being in a crazed frenzy with anywhere from 10-40 patients on our worklist. All of them require the best of care in the fastest time possible without making any mistakes.
        The place breeds stress.
        But we’re one big, happy, dysfunctional family! Strong leadership values is one of the main reasons we’re still going strong!

        • What a great and hectic job to have. At least you have people around you who make it worth coming into work and dealing with the stress.

          I personally want to say thank you for your work. My son was born 7 weeks ago and is still in the hospital (He should be coming home in a few weeks). But if it was not for the doctors, nurses, and God’s power he would not be alive. Keep doing what your doing because though it might be stressful, you impact other people for the positive.