The 2 ridiculously easy ingredients of relationship building
Have you ever wondered how some folks seem to be making people connections with ease while you struggled your way through with it? Some of us are truly born with this trait and are blessed in life with their relationship building talents. For anyone who struggles with this there is hope though, because once you realize that you are in need of help there is a way how to get much better at it. Success leaves patterns behind that you can pick up and learn as well.
While interviewing a group of senior citizens today on behalf of a church visioning group the two simple ingredients to relationship building hit me like a freight train. My interviewees not only told me what they thought builds a sense of community (very tight relationships), but here I was an almost total stranger who when he left, left as a new friend. Relationship building one on one! This was due to the two following main ingredients:
- You need to spend some time. When you want a better relationship, you need to first invest in it. Start by you willing to spend some time with the folks you want to have a better relationship with. Here you may start with an e-mail or phone call. Ultimately, you are better off making time for a face-to-face interaction. Communication is a full body experience. Seeing and hearing the other person provides a much better opportunity to mutually understand each other at a deeper level.
- You need to genuinely care. Can it be this simple? The concept is simple, but the execution thereof is much tougher because caring is something that you cannot and had better not fake. Caring comes in a few dimensions. You need to be willing and capable of demonstrating empathy and compassion and do not go into these new relationships expecting anything back in return.
Relationships are not owed to you – they are earned. They are earned one by one. Think of the folks that you end up with as your tribe. This is your own little microcosm that is often described with the over- and abused term “community”. A true community cares about others and certainly will bring the time it takes helping one another. Now it is your turn to make your contribution. Spend the time and care about others and they will start caring about you.