What is a “Relationship” ?  

In my view, the basis of connection between two human beings is “Relationship”. All of us play multiple roles in our personal and professional lives. We are children, siblings, spouses, parents, grand parents, grand children and so on. Similarly, we are individual contributors, team leaders, managers, managers of managers and so on.

   I have always been inquisitive as to why some people get along easily with others and some don’t. Let us start with our family. Why do we find it easier to interact and relate to some family members and not with others. Interestingly, the reasons may not be the same for everyone to relate with someone better than others but the attributes, which makes a relationship click may be similar.

   If we move to the work place, the situation is similar. We get along easily with some colleagues and not with others. We find that gender, hierarchy or roles really do not matter. We relate and click with some of them easily and find it difficult with others.

  So, if we need to understand as to what helps in building good relationships one may need to reflect and introspect. I will prefer to look within to reflect and understand what helps me relate better with my spouse, my kids and my relatives. Similarly, what helps me relate better at the work place and what does not. How can I contribute to building better relationships ? 

   I would say that what helps me in my family has helped me at work. The first and foremost skill, which has helped me is to be a good listener. Most of us speak more than we listen. While all of us love to be listened to, we hate to listen to others. Hence, every attempt to improve my listening has helped me to build better relationship at home and at work.

   The second quality which has enabled me to build relationships is my ability to forgive and say sorry. We all have egos and it is the most difficult thing to manage. None of us accept that we made a mistake and are willing to give in. If we have the courage to say sorry first and forgive our spouse in the family or colleague at work, it definitely helps.

   The third attribute, which has helped me to forge good relationships is “Walking the talk”. If you expect your family member to live up to their commitments, you have demonstrate it rather than ask for it. Similarly, if you want your team to be deliver on time, you show the way rather than give a speech. This helps you build respect. They trust you and thereby it paves the way for a great relationship.

   If I may summarise, “Listening”, “Forgiveness” and “Walk the Talk” are three qualities to imbibe to build great “Relationships”

S Ramesh Shankar

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