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10 Great Relationship Principles I’ve Learned from John Maxwell

3) Listening from the heart is a game changer.

One of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone is to truly listen.

We are often in a hurry, there is so much to do, right? So, when you slow down for a minute or an hour and truly listen, you communicate that you value that person. Following this third point in our list of relationship principles can be life-changing for them.

Listening from the heart requires the ability to make a soul level connection. You communicate empathy, interest and a desire to be helpful far more by listening than merely by your words.

4) Believing the best in people usually brings out the best of people.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Sorry, but I love that corny line because it’s true! What you look for you will find.

I was surprised one day when asked why pastors and people only say the good things about someone at their funeral. Why would you want to emphasize someone’s shortcomings?

We are all flawed and imperfect, but when someone calls out the best in us, we often rise to that higher standard.

5) Hurting people hurt people.

When the response to a situation is greater than the issue at hand, the real issue is always about something else. The wise leader learns how to get to the real issue.

People who are hurting don’t necessarily want to hurt people, but it’s like a lion with a thorn in his paw, he can’t help it. If we can help people take the thorn out, we can help them live better. In turn, if you are in a relationship with them, your life becomes better too.

6) Admit wrongs and forgive quickly.

Taking responsibility for your actions is one of our key relationship principles and core to healthy and productive relationships.

If you make a mistake, own it. If you treat someone poorly, ask forgiveness. Getting defensive or blowing up never makes a relationship better. You might be right, but if you need to win, you’ll lose in the long run.

When you are wronged, forgive quickly. You’ll live with less stress and enjoy life more fully.

7) Always give more than you take.

There may be a few people in your life that you think it’s impossible to out give them. I understand that. John would be one of those people in my life. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t purpose to be generous anyway.

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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.