We’ve all made our fair share of relational mistakes. Here are 10 principles for better relationships from the teaching of John Maxwell.
1. Recognize that you see people through who you are.
Self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-perception establish the foundation of all relationships. The way you view yourself and the way you see life shapes how you see and relate to others.
2. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
You can decide to care. You can ask God to help you become more caring. It isn’t enough to be great at what you do. If you don’t sincerely care about people and live in such a way that you demonstrate it, your relationships will suffer.
3. Authentic listening is a game changer.
One of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone is to truly listen to them. When you slow down and truly listen, you communicate that you value the person. It can be life-changing for them.
4. Believing the best in people usually brings out the best of people.
What you look for you will find. We are all flawed and imperfect, but when someone calls out the best in us, we often rise to that higher standard.
5. Hurting people hurt people.
People who are hurting don’t necessarily want to hurt other people, but it’s like a lion with a thorn in his paw, he can’t seem to help it. If we can help people take the thorn out, we can help them live better.
6. Admit wrongs and forgive quickly.
Taking responsibility for your actions is crucial to healthy and productive relationships. If you make a mistake, own it. If you treat someone poorly, ask forgiveness. Getting defensive never makes a relationship better. You might be right, but if you need to win, you’ll lose in the long run. When you are wronged, forgive quickly. You’ll live with less stress and enjoy life more fully.
7. Always give more than you take.
Be purposefully generous. It’s a heart thing. It’s a way of living, and when your motives are pure, it will bring you great joy.
8. Add value to people.
Add value to people in small ways and big ways. Contribute to their life so their life is better. It can be as simple as a kind and encouraging word, and it can be as involved as a lifetime of mentoring. Sometimes it involves enough love and courage to have a tough and honest conversation. The greatest value you can add to anyone is the message of Jesus Christ.
9. You can never encourage anyone too much.
Encouragement is the emotional fuel that enables people to hold on longer, reach farther, and dig deeper than they previously believed possible.
10. Trust is the lifeblood of all relationships.
People are counting on you to keep your promises. This reflects your character and ultimately who you are. No reasonable person expects perfection, but they do expect honesty, kindness and doing what you say you’ll do.