One of the most important aspects of leading is the ability to build and have relationships with the people around us. Your influence and success greatly depends on your ability to develop lasting relationships with others. Stanley Allyn said, “The most useful person in the world today is the man or woman who knows how to get along with other people. Human relations is the most important science in living.” Below are 8 keys every leader needs to know and apply if they want to have lasting relationships:
1. Start- Great leaders take the initiative in starting and building relationships with others. They don’t just passively wait for others to reach out to them but they take the steps required to start and build the relationship.
2. Get connected- To build a lasting relationship a leader intentionally connects with the person, which requires an investment of time, energy, and effort. A leader who wants to connect with someone takes time to:
- Learn the person’s life story and experiences.
- Discovers the heart of the person.
- Find common ground by learning about the person’s interests, passions, and likes.
3. Be authentic- A leader who is authentic are themselves around people and in relationships. They do not hide from their unique or genuine self, when starting or building a relationship with others. Being authentic requires openness and vulnerability with the people we are in relationships with.
4. Develop and maintain trust- Trust between both parties is the glue that holds relationships together. It’s essential for a leader to build and maintain trust with other people. To earn trust requires a good track record and time. David Duchovny said, “The key is to get to know people and trust them to be who they are. Instead, we trust people to be who we want them to be- and when they’re not, we cry.” Take the time to nourish and cherish trust in your relationships.
5. Communication skills- At the center of every thriving and lasting relationships is communication. Good communication is a key to having great relationships. It’s important to remember communication is a two way street that has a balance of talking and listening.
6. Lifter- A lifter has the ability to see someone’s potential and does whatever they can to help them move to the next level. They serve and add value to the other person. A leader who’s desire is to positively impact and help people produces strong and lasting relationships.
7. Be a support- Life brings different seasons, with both good and difficult times. A true friend is one who supports and walks with us through the different seasons of life. They have the ability to challenge or encourage us depending on our situation or circumstance. Taylor Swift said, “In a relationship each person should support the other; they should lift each other up.”
8. Deliberate maintenance- To have a strong and lasting relationship requires maintenance. If a problem or issue goes unresolved for too long it can harm the relationship. This is why we have to be on the lookout for anything that might cause the relationship to become weak or damaged, then to deliberately repair or fix the problem.
Question: Can you think about any other keys to building or maintaining a relationship?