The 10 Commandments of Relationships

I had the privilege of attending, and for two years serving as a pastor, at Journey Church in Norman, Oklahoma.  The founding, senior pastor of the church is Clark Mitchell. There are a ton of things I learned and gained from my time under his ministry and leadership.

One lesson was “all blessings flow through relationships.

Isn’t that true?  If you take time to look at your life, then you will quickly see the blessings you have are because of your relationships with others.  We were built for relationships.

Now, this is not a post about “networking”, which if you are like me feels really “icky” and “unauthentic.”  I would have to admit that I am probably one of the worst networkers I know.  However, I am blessed with amazing relationships.  And like you, these relationships have brought me to where I am today.

If you want to find success, you are going to have to master relationships.  Theodore Roosevelt said,

The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”  

Remember, Theodore Roosevelt was a “man’s man.”  He was a Rough Rider and the President of the United States.  A “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” kind of guy.  However, he understood the central role relationships play in your success.

As you continue to build your career, and even your life, remember these 10 Commandments of Relationships:

  1. Choose Your Tribe Wisely:  Are you hanging with chickens or eagles?  We must surround ourselves with people who pull the best out of us…instead of the worst.  Some people will keep us all penned up…others help us soar!
  2. Make Relationship Building a Priority:  You might think you are not good at building relationships.  That’s ok.  If it is important, you can get better at it.  Start with this fundamental truth: PEOPLE MATTER!
  3. Balance Care and Candor:  Your relationships should be characterized by truth and care. Do you know when to challenge your friend with the truth versus when you share the truth with empathy and compassion?
  4. Make it a Habit:  This might sound very “cold and robotic”, but you are extremely busy.  If you don’t make it a habit to reach out to your relationships, then you will only do so when you need something.  I don’t think that is how you want to be known in the relationship.
  5. Like-Mindedness Matters:  Find people with common goals, values, interests and aspirations.  This doesn’t mean that you don’t have experiences with diverse groups.  Those experiences are key to your growth.  However, the people we will grow closest to we often share core things in common.
  6. Be A Giver:  If you got into a relationship thinking it is all about you, then the relationship probably won’t last or at best be very shallow.  Seek opportunities to serve others first.
  7. Be a PLUS:  John Maxwell talks about this in his book the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership in the Law of Addition.  Be the person someone wants to run into at the grocery store…not the person people run from.  Be positive and encouraging, not critical and a downer.
  8. Shut Your Mouth, Open Your Ears:  You will build much stronger relationships with people based on what you hear them say, not what they hear you say.  If you are a great listener and ask great questions, people will be blown away by your conversation skills.  Try it.
  9. Be grateful:  When was the last time you told someone you were grateful for the relationship you had with them?  You understand as well as I do how rare healthy, strong relationships are in this world.  Take time today to let those people know how much you value them.
  10. Right the Wrongs:  Relationships are hard and messy.  That is probably why we don’t engage in them like we should.  If you mess up, own up and apologize.  If someone wrongs you, forgive them and move on.

Friends…it is all about relationships.  They are key to your success in every aspect of your life, even professionally.  If you want to find your dream job, you are going to have to master relationships.

Plus, what good is success if we don’t have strong relationships with whom to enjoy that success with each day.

What steps can you take to build stronger, more authentic relationships?