You Can’t Command Relationship

August 10, 2011

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I'm Deb- CEO, worldwide executive coach, mentor, consultant and speaker. I'm here to help you take your leadership and impact to the next level!

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In his book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, author, and my mentor, John C. Maxwell describes the key ingredients for great leadership.  One of them, The Law Of Influence, speaks to the fact that leadership is influence.

Therein lies the problem for some folks.  Especially if you are ‘D’ Wired .

Some of us are under the assumption that we can, in fact, “command” a relationship.  We believe that our strong way of communicating is a key ingredient to a great relationship.  We delude ourselves into thinking that the world just can’t wait to hear us bark out our next command, but that is not the stuff of great relationships or connections.

I overheard on a teleconference recently one participant remarked that they had relationships all figured out, they simply need to develop them from afar via social media because they seem to last, that it was their in person relationships that didn’t.  Uh oh!

Here are a few things I’m striving for as I grow as a leader and as a person.

1.  Cultivate.  –  Whether it’s a business relationship, family, or future spouse, cultivating the soil, enriching their lives in small ways helps to build trust and, frankly, helps us to connect because we see that they care and know us and what we need.

2. Have Zero Expectation. – As soon as we enter into a relationship with an end result in mind and anything short of that is worthless, we lose.  Sometimes our expectation taints our cultivation.  If we get the feeling things aren’t moving in the right direction, our attitude may reflect our disappointment, and we don’t cultivate.

3.  Golden Rule.  –  I hated hearing this rule as a kid but now I totally see its value (thanks Mom).  Treat others how you would like to be treated (and I have added) …whether they treat you that way or not.

4. Dialogue Not Monologue.  –  To be relational requires two or more of us interacting, so remember to let there be dialogue from everyone.  Frankly, there is so much I learn when I listen closely to what someone is saying.

5.  Practice.  –  Like any new skill, practice is key.  Oh, and don’t ever expect to nail it 100% because we are human beings.  We are emotional, unpredictable, and in the end, we are the one thing each other needs.

What tips do you have on how to build great relationships?