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10 Basic Relationship Skills

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Getting along with people can be more complicated than it appears especially for a leader. If it were easy, everybody would be good at it!

How you treat people, how they treat you, what makes it work well, and why it doesn’t work when it doesn’t is always important to consider.

Conflict is part of human nature.

When the challenges and stress of leadership are added to everyday relationships, conflict is heightened.

The speed and pressure of leadership increase the potential to overlook even the most simple and basic relationship skills. That always gets a leader in trouble.

Treating someone in a way that you would not want them to treat you is never intentional, but it is inevitable without heartfelt effort. And that effort begins with paying attention to the simple, but not always easy, basics.

It’s easy to understand why some very gifted and intelligent leaders struggle to make progress if they falter in consistently treating people in a way that makes them feel loved, respected, and cared for.

Treating people with grace, kindness, authenticity, and trust provides a strong foundation for all meaningful relationships. And when you consistently practice the basics upon that foundation, your relationships can flourish.

What are the top ten basics?

  • Express gratitude
  • Smile often
  • Remember names
  • Listen well
  • Practice generosity
  • Forgive quickly
  • Don’t criticize
  • Compliment often
  • Encourage sincerely
  • Help people

These are all doable by nearly anyone.

So, why are these basics so often missed?

7 unintended reasons that derail good relationships:

1) Unintentional lazy or bad habits.

I can remember a time when I unintentionally practiced a bad habit.

I just got lazy.

When I would leave the house, often in a rush, I didn’t always say goodbye, and sometimes when I got home, I didn’t say hello right away. Patti may have been upstairs or in the basement, and I was always moving fast.

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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.