10 Great Relationship Principles I’ve Learned from John Maxwell

relationship principles

With more than 35 years in leadership now, I’ve learned that it’s truly all about people. That may seem obvious, but not all leaders behave as if they know or agree with that thought.

It doesn’t matter how smart you are, how gifted you are, or how much you know about vision and strategy. If you don’t know how to connect with and get along with people, you won’t make it far as a leader.

We’ve all made our fair share of relational mistakes, and no doubt you are grateful like I am, for the people who have been kind and patient. I appreciate the people who gave me a chance and still give me grace.

When you learn to treat people like you want to be treated, it’s amazing how much better life becomes.

I’ve learned that if I put others first, life has a way of giving back in wonderfully positive ways. That’s not the motivation, but it is the blessing.

If you don’t invest in friendships, you may end up traveling through life alone. The encouraging truth is that great relationships are not that difficult. They require time, love and the willingness to not always get your way.

John Maxwell has been a great friend and mentor for over 35 years. I’m so grateful for his love, belief and investment in me.

He has taught me so much about relationships over the years; I could fill a book. But for now, I’ll share just 10 of my favorite principles with you.

10 Great Relationship Principles

1) We see people through our own lens.

Your self-awareness, self-esteem and self-perception establish the foundation of all your relationships. The way you view yourself and the way you see life shapes how you see and relate to others.

Whether you see the cup as half-full or half-empty will transfer every time.

2) People don’t care how much you know, till they know how much you care.

Caring about people isn’t automatic. Not everyone cares. I’m sure you’ve run into people along the way that it’s clear that they just don’t care.

You can’t learn to care, it’s not a skill, but you can decide to care. You can ask God to help you become more caring.

If you want to lead for the long-haul, it isn’t enough to be great at what you do. If you don’t sincerely care about people and live in such a way that you demonstrate it, your leadership will suffer.

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Dan Reiland
Dr. Dan Reiland serves as Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. He and Dr. Maxwell still enjoy partnering on a number of church related projects together.