To some extent everyone has some type of relationship with someone else. For that reason, many people think that relationships just happen. Actually, just the opposite is true. Relationships are tough and it takes a substantial amount of proactiveness on the part of individuals who enter into a relationship stage.

Let’s take a look at the various type of relationships that are available to us. Before we do that it is necessary to understand that there are some standards that must be followed in all interactions. To develop a strong relationship, participants must approach it with 1) humility, 2) courage and 3) honesty. Let’s elaborate a little bit on those three factors.


Each person should stand before another with a true sense of humbleness. Humility is the icebreaker; it’s saying to another person, “I am interested in you and I’d like to get to know you a little bit better.” It’s not about telling another person that you’d like to tell them about yourself. It amazes me that in the first meeting of two people, one chooses to start out with telling another what they should know about himself/herself. If you really want to get to know somebody, you need to ask them questions rather than make statements. By asking questions you are indicating that you are interested in them and, hopefully, they, in turn, become interested and want to learn about you.


Do not be deceived. If you’re interested in developing a relationship with somebody else, you are probably nervous. That is a good thing. By using that nervous energy in a positive way, you are communicating that you have courage and are willing to overcome those feelings to accomplish something special. It’s also an indication of the type of person you are, ie., a person of character that can handle an uneasy situation. Courage also shows that you can do the right thing at the right time.


In any relationship, being honest is of the utmost importance. Honesty is not just telling the truth, but it is also about not having secrets and giving full disclosure on pertinent topics. I am not insinuating that all things be revealed at all times because there are situations that it would not be prudent or necessary to divulge information. If you were asked, in confidence, not to share something or if it is not an appropriate time to bring up a specific topic, then there is no need for comment. If you are asked about something that was told to you confidentially, then explain that you will not fail another’s trust by sharing the information. Also, there are times when someone will ask you to keep something in confidence and it is not ethical to do so. You must explain to them that you cannot abide by their wishes.

Like I said in the beginning, developing long-term relationships of trust and confidence is tough and the deeper the relationship, the tougher it gets. In any event, humility, courage and honesty are necessary elements in all relationships. Trust is earned, respect is given and loyalty is shown. Fail in any one of these and you lose all three.

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