Most of us might remember the three Rs as reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic—in business, I like to say it’s, relationships, relationships, relationships… I have spent the last few days writing a grant proposal involving a large request for funds. As I wrote the request for my client, I became acutely aware that it is the relationship between the possible patron and my client that is the vital component to getting the request funded. It is all about relationships, no matter what we are doing.

Maintaining positive relationships is a more important skill than technical ability regardless of your career. People rarely fail because of a lack of technical skill—they fail because of their inability to communicate effectively with others and maintain positive relationships.

Mutual respect is a vital component in a positive relationship, respect cannot be demanded—it must be earned through your actions and words. Respect that is demanded, results in "defiant compliance" usually leading to counterproductive behaviors in the other party. The only behaviors and attitudes we have complete control of are our own—one earns respect by first giving it to others—through positive verbal and non-verbal communication.

An easy way to show respect is to minimize negative and critical feedback (in your self and in others). If feedback must be given, consider using behavioral feedback based on what you saw and heard, and not labeling the person. Speak with an atmosphere that is friendly and approachable and manage the behavior, not the person. Remember, we get more of the behaviors we reward. So, maybe take a moment to consider how your behaviors are affecting other’s behaviors?

p.s. Another important part of positive relationship communication is listening… reminds me of that old saying that God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason, to listen twice as much as you talk… when we are talking we are rarely learning

Author's Bio: 

Learn to Inspire, Influence and Get Real Results! There is no better way to market your business and services then telling people what you do… Sharon Sayler, MBA, helps leaders, executives, and business owners inspire employees, grow companies and increase their sales by teaching them to become powerful and influential communicators. Visit for more great ideas and free white papers.