85% of Success is Rooted Here…

A Carnegie Foundation study once showed that only 15 percent of success could be attributed to job knowledge and technical skills. Eighty-five percent of a person’s success is determined by what researchers called ability to deal with people and attitude. The concept holds whether you serve in business, ministry, education, or public service. It is true of male and female, old and young, educated and uneducated. You also need to be aware of its relevance whether you are extroverted or introverted. While you can afford to be timid as a child, you cannot use introversion as an excuse when you enter your adult life. You must understand yourself and to some degree learn to live beyond it.

Your ability to develop relationships, build relationships, and to get along with others can make or break you no matter what the endeavor. Here are some keys to building better relationships:

1. Be trustworthy. You cannot grow close to someone you cannot trust and it is difficult to trust those you are not close to.

2. Show genuine interest in the feelings, concerns, and dreams of others.

3. Take responsibility for improving the relationship. Be more concerned about owning your part than stressing over their part.

4. Understand that others bring not only “good” to the relationship, but also baggage from other relationships and experiences. They will have flaws just as you do.

5. Seek to inspire others to better living by modeling the qualities of genuine friendship.

6. Understand that you can “make their day” or “ruin their day” with your words and actions.

7. Be willing to speak the truth, hear the truth, discuss hard things, and to disagree without bailing out. This may sound like a contradiction with number six and if all you apply is number seven every day, the relationship will not last.

8. Always be looking to add a new friend to your network.

9. Be friendly. It is free and it is powerful. Don’t be “over the top” about it. That is costly and makes people want to avoid you.

10. Learn what is most important to them and share what is most important to you.

I will add one more note as a follower of Jesus. Anyone can apply these principles to build better relationships. My motivation runs deeper still. I desire to be “salt” and “light” sharing what I believe to be the most important message of all. Forgiveness. Redemption. Salvation. Hope. I’m still seeking to build better relationships. I hope you are too, because that will maximize your leadership!

Portions adapted from chapter nine of Monday Morning Choices by David Cottrell.