The Relationship Recipe

If you think relationships are a lot of work, try doing everything all by yourself.

Relationships are difficult — because people are strange. They want a place in the front of the bus, the back of the church, and the middle of the road. Tell people there are 300 billion stars, and they’ll believe you. But tell them that a bench has just been painted, and they have to touch it to make sure.

And relationships are difficult — because people are frustrating. They show up at the wrong place at the wrong time for the wrong reason. They tell you one thing and do another.

Fortunately, people are interesting, even though they’re not always charming. Yet the fact of the matter is — we’ve got to work with people. All business is based on relationships.

So what should we do? We could take the next few days to discuss how to make relationships work, but that’s not going to happen. So let me share one tip from my program on “The Relationship Recipe – Rapport, Respect, and Recognition,” one critical tip that will make almost any relationship work: make the other person feel important.

It’s not that difficult. After all, people are important. If it weren’t for the people in your company, no work would be getting done; no sales would be made; no customers would be satisfied; and no future would exist.

Don’t make the mistake so many managers make. Don’t focus all your attention on managing the “bottom line” while forgetting to recognize the “people” who produce that bottom line.

People have a hard time resisting respect and recognition. So give people large doses of genuine respect and recognition. That will make them feel important, and that will help you build relationships that are more cooperative and less frustrating.


Action:  Go out of your way to make three people on your team feel important today. Don’t wait for a special, extraordinary bit of performance on the part of your team members, and don’t wait for a special occasion to say something. Often times, it’s the little things they do–that you notice–that make the biggest impact.