Building Blocks To Strong Relationships


Having strong relationships require having a strong foundation. Like building a house, the foundation is not nice to have, it’s essential. Building good relationships takes work and thought, it is a skill. No man (or woman) is an island and to get the most out of others, building a strong relationship with them makes all the difference. It doesn’t matter if it is in business, with friends or family. These foundational tips will help you no matter who the person is.

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1. Listen.

Make people feel like they are the most important person in the room by listening. Put down the phone, turn away from the computer and give them your undivided attention. Use a combination of verbal and not verbal cues to show you are listening such as, asking questions, nodding, smiling, and maintaining eye contact. Give advice and your opinion only when it is asked for.

2. Praise.

Everyone likes praise but it is often given sparingly. The key is to praise more than you criticize, not the other way around. Make it genuine and timely, in a manner that is meaningful to the recipient. Giving praise builds people up, improves their self-esteem and increases motivation. We all want to know we are doing a good job, that we are valued and appreciated.

3. Manners.

The phrase “Mind your manners” was not coined for nothing. Basic courtesy is essential. Saying please and thank you, but even more than that, treating people with basic courtesy and respect will gain you appreciated and be returned tenfold. Everyone wants and deserves kindness, even when they make a mistake. There is no reason to make someone feel bad, raise your voice or be rude.

4. Own it.

None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes, have flaws and shortcomings. We feel day to day pressures and sometimes behave in less than exemplary ways. So long as it is only sometimes, owning up to it when we are not our best shows humility and self-awareness. If we expect others to own it then we must own it ourselves. Be the example you wish to see in others. People are much more forgiving when we take responsibility.[/message][su_spacer]

These may seem like simple, basic things, and in reality they are. Unfortunately they are also easily overlooked and discarded in the hustle and bustle, reality television world we live in. It is a process. Apply these foundational tips, you will see a difference in how people respond.


Anthony T. Eaton
Anthony T. Eaton
ANTHONY is a seasoned, certified Human Resources professional with more than twenty years of experience working in a range of industries including non-profit, banking, utilities and government. In addition, he is an accomplished leader and author with a passion for personal and professional leadership and development. Believing that every person has the opportunity and potential to lead, his focus is on helping others be the best leaders they can no matter who they are or position they hold. In 2013 Anthony took his leadership message online with a blog. Initially posting an inspirational quote of the day he then began doing interviews with a wide range of individuals from diverse background about their personal journey, leadership experiences, and thoughts. In 2015 he created a website and added feature articles, a second interview series WOMEN ON LEADERSHIP along with a book review. In 2016 he published his first book LEADERSHIP CONVERSATIONS, a series of interviews on leadership and more. Anthony’s purpose is to inspire and motivate others by initiating conversations about what it means to be a leader in the broadest sense of the word.

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  1. Good points. I’ve often considered that a relationship is built on some commonality you have with the other person. It can be nostalgia, education, hobbies, or passions. To build a relationship, you find that commonality and build on it. In team building, a common exercise is talk about your favorite movie or food. In sales, the sales person will ask about where you went to school, is married, or have kids — and then they share how they are just like you.