5 Keys to Improve Relationships

Improve RelationshipsMost people want to improve relationships with those in their life. Unfortunately, relationships (whether with friends or family) are often a cause of stress for many. Whenever diverse personalities are involved, miscommunications and mishaps are bound to occur. If you’d like to improve relationships with others, here are 5 keys for getting along with anyone.

1) Focus on issues, not personalities.
Many people unknowingly use trigger words that can disable a conversation and may ultimately destroy a relationship. Such words as “dumb,” “stupid,” and “unprofessional” criticize the person, rather than the content of their ideas or specific actions. How many times have you said to someone, “That’s a dumb idea”? A better approach would be to cite alternatives to the idea, as in, “I’m not 100% sure that idea would work. Have you considered doing this instead?”

2) Communicate clearly.
Whenever you’re speaking with someone, remember to ask questions, not just tell. For example, you could ask, “Am I making any sense?” or “Am I clear in what I’m saying?” Get acknowledgment from the other person before continuing.

3) Be aware of your body language (kinesics).
Your body language says more about what you really think than your words ever will. Shaking your head, turning away, or shrugging your shoulders can send the wrong message. Always remember that it’s not only what you say, but how you say it and SHOW it that counts.

4) Thank people.
One of the most overlooked phrases in the English language is “Thank you.” It’s not just important to value people but to let them know so they know you value them. A simple “thank you” goes a long way toward improving relationships.

5) Admit mistakes.
Another of the most influential phrases is, “I made a mistake.” It’s almost amazing how saying this reduces negative feelings and reduces stress. The fact is that no one is perfect and we all make mistakes. Own up to your mistakes and your relationships will thrive.

Relationships are never easy. However, when you keep these 5 keys in mind, you’ll be able to improve relationships with everyone you know.

What’s your best advice for improving relationships? Please share it in the comments below.