Developing Your Career Part 3–Building Quality Relationships

Stop for a minute and think about the following questions.

Do you know what a quality relationship is? 

What are some characteristics of quality relationships?

What is your role in a quality relationship?

We develop relationships with everyone we come in continuous contact with.  They all start out as superficial relationships, and grow at their own pace based on the people involved. 

A Quality Relationship Defined

A quality relationship can be defined as “a relationship that adds value to you and the other party’s lives.  I say party, instead of person, because these can include animals too.  Yes, we build some of the best relationships with our own pets.  Think about this for a second, how do you get along with your dog or cat?  They show us unconditional love, and we typically give that back to them.  How is that we can have such good relationships with animals, yet struggle with other people?  This all boils down to one word – ego.  I’ll talk about this at length in the 5th part of this series, but for now, realize that your ego can play an important part in developing quality relationships.  These relationships that we build help define us, help us grow, and create a sense of balance in our lives. 

Relationship Characteristics

Some characteristics of a quality relationship include:

  • Trust
  • Honesty
  • Transparency
  • Respect
  • Understanding
  • Be Genuine

Some characteristics of an unhealthy relationship include:

  • Deceit
  • Mistrust
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Lack of Respect

Relationships in the Work Place

When building relationships in the work place, you must take each of the characteristics of a quality relationship into consideration. 

Trust, Honesty, and Transparency

You must build trust with your coworkers.  In order to do this, you must be honest with them, and you must also follow through on your commitments.  If you commit to something with someone, and deliver, they will trust that the next time you tell them you will do something, they will have faith that you will follow through.  If you fail to deliver, and it’s a pattern, then the faith they have in your promises will be diminished or completely gone.  If for some reason you cannot follow through, the you should raise awareness as soon as you know.  This is called being transparent.  This allows the other person to still have faith in you, as if for some reason you can’t complete something, they know that you will inform them so they can adjust. 

Respect

Respect is something we all deserve to give and receive.  We should give respect even to those who don’t respect us.  Always showing respect, regardless of the situation is a direct reflection on our character, not the character of others. 

Understanding

We are not perfect.  We never will be.  Since we are not perfect, our relationships cannot be perfect either.  There will always be cases where someone gets offended or upset by something you do.  The reverse is also true.  How we react when these situations occur help define the quality of the relationship.  Can we empathize with the other person?  Can we be willing to accept their flaws, and still move forward?  We should be able to do these things in a quality relationship.  There are some things we should never accept, such as deceit, abuse, etc.  If those occur, we should be willing to move past it the first time, but if it continues, then your relationship has moved from a quality relationship to an unhealthy relationship.  At this point, it may be best to consider ending the relationship if possible.  We can’t always do this in a business environment.  In this case, the best option is to remain professional and courteous in all interactions with this person, and keep all personal matters separate.   

Be Genuine

You should always be yourself.  Do not pretend to be someone you are not.  Remember, a quality relationship is built on trust, not deceit.  If you present yourself to be someone you are not, then the relationship will be built on a foundation of deceit, and will eventually become unhealthy. 

To Summarize – when building relationships you need to do the following:

Be honest in your interactions with others

Follow through on what you say you will do and notify immediately when you can’t follow through

Communicate effectively (always try to remain positive)

Always show respect

Be understanding and willing to forgive

And most importantly – be yourself!!!