Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Why do you have weak relationships? It could be that you talk too much and listen too little!

Relationships are important in business and in life. The sale of a product or service, support from stakeholders, the launching of a new program, productivity from employees, pricing from vendors, understanding from a spouse, good behavior from a child - all of these situations, and more, require strong working relationships. And, it seems like the harder you work at building those relationships the better the intended outcome will be.

So, how do you develop stronger relationships with those people that are important to you? Well, the first way, and probably the most important way, is through communication. You see, what you communicate and how you communicate can affect your ability to deal with life's situations. Poor communication may lead to misunderstandings, distrust, and poor outcomes.

Many experts believe that there is a direct correlation between the quality of communication and the quality of the relationship. Communication is quite complex. You communicate with every movement and action, often without even knowing it. Remember, even silence can be a form of communication. You also should be mindful of tone, remembering that a hostile tone could damage a relationship.

To avoid poor communication always discuss matters with those involved even if you think it is not important. Husbands are always making decisions that affect the entire family without discussing the matter with their wives' - Big mistake! The boss is always making decisions that affect the whole company without discussing the matter with their employees' - Big Mistake! Companies are always making changes to products without discussing it with their customers' - Big Mistake! So, discuss the small stuff.

Also avoid, at all costs, communicating in only one direction. In other words avoid communication where you are just telling people something. Sometimes you talk so much that you discourage the other side from listening - Big mistake! For communication to be effective it must be two-way. Listening is essential to communication.

And, avoid sending mixed messages. Quality communication should be consistent. Sometimes what you tell one person might be different from what you tell the next person - Big mistake! Sometimes what you tell one customer about price or delivery time may be different from what you tell another customer about price and delivery time for the same product. Big mistake! Be consistent.

In conclusion, if you desire a stronger relationship, begin with communication. This is done best when you accept the other person as part of your team or family; have quality talk with them often and frequently; talk WITH them and not ABOUT them; listen intently and consult them often on decisions that you are going to make. And, if you remember this advice, your relationships will strengthen and your probability for success will increase significantly. Please share with me your ideas for building stronger relationships?


  1. Great points Randy.
    Well,from a coach s point of view what I read between(the lines... your words)is that you are open minded,caring and you allow yourself to be vulnerable. There's no better atmosphere for growth and success in any area be that business or personal relationships.Also a great way to create the right environment for growth and success is to ask strategic questions and have people give themselves the answers.Because whatever answers people give themselves, will be in resonance with their own beliefs, paradigms/way of thinking and they are more likely to accept or go along with any changes you might want to make(the changes will be lasting).
    You are so right about body language, expressions,movements,tone.

    When keeping a calm people pick up the vibration,the energy your body is in and they will adjust theirs to yours.
    Especially in the last 3 years have been applying extra amount of kindness in every area (my business as well as my personal life) and nobody has the power to respond in a bad way repeatedly to kindness,soon even the worst attitude will respond in a positive way to kindness.
    By understanding how the human Mind works we can get great results in any circumstance.

  2. Randy, thank you for these great bits of common sense. I think that most of us would tell you these are the keys to better communication, yet we forget to slow down and think about how we ourselves are employing them. If we make a conscious effort while we're talking with people to think about how we're communicating and ask ourselves whether we're employing these simple ideas, then we might realize how often we forget to put them into action.

    I'd like to add emphasis to the idea that people are so interested in talking that they often forget to put the focus on the person they're speaking with. It seems common sense to me that if I enjoy so much telling you about me, that you might just as well enjoy talking with me about you. Listen well, but dont forget to ask good questions that express interest in the person your speaking with and the things that are important to them.