The Key to Developing Strong Relationships

Here is an important concept for all to remember regarding strong relationships: Not losing is more important than winning.

People’s desires will not always be fulfilled. However, as long as others are aware that they have a choice as to their responses, they are not put in a position where they feel that they lose. It’s that feeling of losing that prompts negative feelings. This is why “not losing” is a key to strong relationships.

No one likes feeling cornered, literally or figuratively. The belief of not having a choice encourages resistance because it prompts a feeling of being trapped. When a person feels there are no options, the result is not only resistance but also resentment. By contrast, offering choices ensures that a person’s power and dignity are retained.

Choices Build Strong Relationships

You will be choosing a losing situation whenever you focus on the past and project negativity, as in, “Why did you do that?” In contrast, you can choose to focus on the future by being optimistic and positive and by suggesting a procedure or asking, “What can you do to prevent it from happening again?” The latter will also result developing strong relationships.

If you choose to talk about what a person did wrong, the person will only resent it because the situation cannot be undone. Choosing to focus on the past will only result in your criticizing, blaming, complaining, threatening, or punishing. These will result in stress and negative feelings for all involved.

Tip: You will promote responsible behavior and retain strong relationships if you choose to communicate in terms of, “So, let’s talk about what we have learned and how to do it better next time.” When you do, you will immediately become a coach instead of a critic or cop.


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