The art of relating – eight principles

‘It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.’

Alfred Adler

Human beings are interdependent. We need fulfilling relationships. We need others to turn to. Relationships are also the key to success in most areas of achievement, including business.

Research among senior managers has demonstrated:

  • The most important factor in career success is not knowledge, nor technical skills, but the ability to work with a wide variety of people – colleagues, clients, suppliers and customers.
  • The most important things they had to learn to perform their role were how to be firm yet tolerant of others, how to understand others and listen to them and how to motivate others and enthuse them.
  • The ability and willingness to support others is a characteristic of good managers. And people work harder for you when they like you.
  • Assertion and empathy are the most difficult aspects of management to learn.
  • Arrogance, deceitfulness, a patronising attitude, avoidance of inter-personal contact and lack of human warmth in managers disillusion and demotivate employees.

The ability to relate to others is a prerequisite of happiness and success, and an essential aspect of life enrichment.

Here are eight principles that apply to all relationships – with yourself, your partner or spouse, your children, friends and work colleagues and the world around you.

  1. Understand that every relationship involves a mutual fulfilling of needs
  1. Accept responsibility for your relationships
  1. Have a positive attitude to others
  1. Realise that your thoughts and feelings project
  1. Relate to others on an emotional level
  1. Develop your listening and communication skills
  1. Accept others as they are
  1. The more you work on yourself, the better your relationships.

The better these principles are understood and applied, the better your relationships!


© David Lawrence Preston, 31.7.2016

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