Tag Archives: Relationships

10 rules for better relationships

“How would your life be different if…You decided to give freely, love fully, and play feverously? Let today be the day…You free yourself from the conditioned rules that limit your happiness and dilute the beautiful life experience. Have fun. Give – Love – Play!”
― Steve Maraboli


A lot of people would like to be happier, to have better relationships with others and wonder why they don’t.   How are your relationships?  How are your relationships with those you work with and share time with?   What is missing in your relationships?

It seems that a lot of people I work with struggle with some of their relationships, many of them are with the managers they work for.   Some people aren’t being challenged enough and are afraid to ask for more.  Others don’t believe their superiors listen to them and feel taken advantage of.   Almost everything we do is based on relationships and we can take a few steps to make them better.

Here are 10  rules for improving relationships.

Rule #1 – Serve the other person.  Make their lives better.

Rule #2 – Practice random acts of kindness.  How can you make the day better for someone else?

Rule #3 – Release your anger.  Give up being angry about things that have happened in the past.  Anger is about fear, so identify what you fear and watch the anger melt away.

Rule #4 – Grow.  Invest in learning and growing.  Becoming a better person will enrich your relationships.

Rule #5 – Listen.  It’s simple, it’s hard to do.   What are people really saying?  Listen to what they say and let them know you heard what they said.

Rule #6 – Appreciate.  Say “Thank-you”.  Some people who you would like to have a better relationship with have never heard you say “Thank-you”.   Show them that you appreciate who they are and what they do.

Rule #7 – Honor Commitments.  Build trust with others by honoring your commitments and if you can’t meet a commitment let the other person know when you will meet your commitment.  Trust is essential in a relationship and honoring commitments builds trust.

Rule #8 – Be honest.   It is easy not to be honest when it is easier to blame someone else or to change the truth so you feel better.  Honesty requires that you take responsibility for your actions and your words.

Rule #9 – Don’t wait.  If something feels wrong or is wrong then don’t wait for it to go away.   Solve the problem right away.

Rule #10 – Love more.  Love has power.  Love is the opposite of fear and those who love more have better relationships.  Love heals.  Love forgives.

Pick a rule and adopt it for yourself and use it daily.   Add a new rule to your life and see what it does for you.  Don’t wait for someone else to change or make the relationship better, go out and make it better yourself.

What rules would you add?

What would help make your relationship with others better?


All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. Great works are often born on a street corner or in a restaurant’s revolving door.”  Albert Camus

Begin!  That is all it takes to start something is to begin and yet far too many people put of that very task of getting started.     How many things have you put off waiting for tomorrow, the day that never comes.

Personal happiness, even professional happiness is tied directly to the actions you take not to the actions you don’t take.   Happiness isn’t something that comes to you as a result, happiness comes to you when you do something that you believe is useful.

Leadership expert John Maxwell suggests that we look at four things as that can result in having a happier life.

1. Create and nurture relationships.    People are meant to engage with other people.  Learning how to develop, grow and value relationships.

2. Make decisions.   Making decisions that support who you are and your strengths that are based on sound reasoning will improve outcomes in your life.  It takes discipline and practice to make good decisions.

3. Continual growth.   What are you doing to continually improve upon “who” you are.   That could mean additional education and skills or it could mean doing something that allows you to grow as a person, or it could be learning from the lessons of life.  Take time to reflect on each day and evaluate what you learned.

4. Adding value.   How can you add value to others?   Instead of looking at what you can get ask yourself what you can give.    Shift the equation around, how can I add value to others?   What can I bring to someone else in terms of value?   When you look at the personal development industry you’ll see countless experts giving away information, time and value, so that others can grow and develop.

What does it take to get started?    What does it take to go from waiting to beginning to make a difference?   It takes you taking action.   Stop waiting for tomorrow and start DOING today.

1. Who can you develop a stronger relationship with TODAY?

2. What decision are you holding off making?   What is stopping you from making that decision?

3. What can you do now to improve your personal or professional growth?

4. Who can you add value to?    Shift from “I” to “you”.   What can you do?

Years ago there was a movie about the continual bad news that was heard, news that help people captive to inaction, to being a victim of the circumstances rather than an owner of the solution.   The movie was  “NETWORK” and the newscaster asked people to get up and yell …    It’s time to begin and take action.

Running in the human race

The human RACE … sometimes it feels like a race, a race that keeps getting faster and faster and faster and faster.   It is no wonder that so many people feel defeated and worn out being in the human RACE.


Racing around in every which direction, but racing to what end?   Who has stopped long enough to ponder what it means to be in this human race?   Where does it end?  What does it mean?    So, pause …. take a deep breath, and stop racing and start reflecting.   What did you miss today?   A birthday!   A word of kindness!  A word of encouragement!   A word of thanks!


At the end of the day what matters most – the race – or the relationships?


Try these questions.

Imagine if I truly made a difference in the world, what would I be doing?


Imagine if  (fill in your greatest dream) then  _________________.


Play imagine if with another person and their response would be the “then” phrase.




Imagine if I had a million dollars then I would build a home for the homeless.

Imagine if I built a home for the homeless then with the money I had left over I would buy them new clothes.

You can repeat the imagine if story until you can’t imagine any thing new.


What race are you in?   Are you making a difference?

Friends, dreams, emotions, do it today

Manage your emotions!

“We get angry with others in direct proportion that we are angry with ourselves.”

Albert Ellis

Begin today!

        “I’m going to stop putting things off, starting tomorrow!”

          Sam Levenson

Dream and keep dreaming!

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist

once he grows up.”

Pablo Picasso


Relationships matter!

 “Friendship is the highest degree of perfection in society.”

Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, 1533- 1592

Change your questions

Have you ever thought about the questions you ask yourself? What is that little voice in your head saying? Is it asking questions for growth and learning or are the questions about judging?

Here are some examples of questions that are designed to help you grow.

What do I want?

What are the facts?

What assumptions am I making?

What can I learn?

What are my choices?

What is best to do know?

Or there are questions that cause you to sink back and wonder.

Why can’t I ever win?

Why do things seem dumb and irritating?

Whose fault is it?

What is wrong with me?

Notice the power of the forward looking questions vs. the questions that pull you down.

The choices we make can be for the good. Good questions help us arrive at good destinations. Look for win-win situations, make connections with others, and look for the facts in every situation.

Good questions can help result in good outcomes. What are those questions?

Building a trust framework

The Pygmalion principle: “While we do well not to trust too little and not to trust too much, it seems better to trust a little too much than a little too little.” From King Arthur’s Round Table by David Perkins

How do we ever get to a point where we trust anything? Don’t we start off with the premise that things in this world deserve some amount of trust? We trust others as we walk by them not to invade our so called space. We trust people to drive on the right side of the road. We trust systems, governments, buildings, and others even if we have no reason to do so.

We begin to lose trust when something in a system violates the principles we believe the system was based on. Trust can be broken/reduced because of the “fundamental attribution error”, unreasonable expectations, unexpected expectations, overgeneralizations or selective processing of information.

The fundamental attribution error comes from the idea that others have character flaws while our own view of the world is based on the situation.

Unreasonable expectations about others can lead to a feeling that others are less trustworthy. Let’s say that we hold that someone else will do something and that thing doesn’t happen. Our disappointment with our expectation will erode the trust even though there is no real basis for it.

Unexpected expectations occur when we think don’t establish real commitments in dealing with other people. We think they might do something with urgency (the urgency exists in our mind) and they don’t. Unclear expectations can lead to trust erosion.

Overgeneralizing trust happens when we trust people in some areas and not in others.

Finally, the selective processing of information is when there is a view that as an individual you can do no wrong or you can do no right. If an instance proves that you are trustworthy you may be trusted in all situations or if one instance proves that you are less trustworthy in the eyes of some you will always be untrustworthy.

Trust is an important element in a relationship. Both sides should work to establish honest expectations at the beginning of the relationship building process. Being authentic and genuine admitting flaws as well as strengths will help establish a framework of honesty on which trust can be built.

What areas of trust are problematic for you? Why?

Relationships, Coaching & Leading

66. Lead by Following

The river carves out the valley by flowing beneath it.
Thereby the river is the master of the valley.

In order to master people
One must speak as their servant;
In order to lead people
One must follow them.

So when the sage rises above the people,
They do not feel oppressed;
And when the sage stands before the people,
They do not feel hindered.

So the popularity of the sage does not fail,
He does not contend, and no one contends against him.

You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for his own improvement and at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful. Madame Marie Curie

Each of these quotes help us realize the value of coaching, relationships and leadership. The great leader acts as a coach helping people realize their full potential.

Galieo said, “You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him discover within himself.”

Before someone can be coached there must be some form of a relationship and a desire to discover himself/herself. What do you think?