Life is one huge web of relationships: Relationship with God, with yourself, with your environment, with other people, and so on. To succeed in life, you must build the right kinds of relationships.
One of the most important types of relationship is the one you have with other people. In this post, let me show you how to build successful and productive relationships that will enhance your speed, and optimize your effectiveness in life.
A productive – or successful relationship – is one in which both parties experience joy, fulfillment, and success in their personal lives as a direct consequence of that relationship. From the scriptures, we learn that the reason two are better than one is because they have a good return for their work. Relationship was supremely designed for enhanced and multiplied productivity. This is the true yardstick for measuring the success of any relationship: Greater, and accelerated productivity
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:"
~ Ecclesiastes 4:9
Joy is the outcome of fulfilled aspirations and desires. It is impossible to be genuinely joyful without desirable and satisfactory results. Jesus Christ designed us. He knows perfectly that if we do not receive our hearts desires, it will be impossible for us to be joyful. That is why He taught us to pray. He said, “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." ~ John 16:24 Clearly, according to Jesus here, full joy comes from fulfilled aspirations.
The reason there is fullness of joy in God’s presence is that there are everlasting pleasures at His right hand. Here is what is written in the psalms: "You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." ~ Psalms 16:11 He fills us with joy in His presence by the eternal pleasures at His right hand. In His presence, there are answers, solutions, favours, and blessings to satisfy our every need. This is why we find fullness of joy there.
So, God designed joy as a consequence of fulfilled dreams and aspirations. You know you are involved in a productive relationship if you are steadily realizing your dreams and aspirations because of that relationship. In such a relationship, there will be joy, and fulfillment.
On the other hand, when your connection with someone, does not result in the steady and progressive success of your major life’s goals, that relationship is a failed one. You may need to re-evaluate such relationships, and probably get out of them if it becomes necessary to do so.
Here are some guiding principles to help you build highly productive, successful, and enduring relationships:
#1 Determine your destinations
You will not be able to assess your relationships unless you have clearly determined your life’s goals. This is true for business, ministry, family, and any other form of connections between people. First, determine your destination. It is on this basis that you will judge the success or failure of any relationship. Where are you going? How fast do you want to move? It is not enough to make progress; you need to make satisfactory progress. It is not enough to arrive; you need to arrive on time. If you arrive late, the party might have ended. So, speed is of the essence too.
Productive relationships promote the success, as well as the speed of your life’s enterprise.
What is your vision? Where are you going?
Furthermore, determine the destination of the other person. It is not enough to know where you are going, you must also ascertain where the other person is going. If you determine that he or she is not heading in your direction, save everyone the headache and not connect.
Some people may like you and not like your destination; so, liking someone is not enough to build successful relationships.
It is important to take the time to understand who they are. What do they want? What are their dreams and aspirations?
#2 Understand your principles – values, priorities – and communicate them clearly.
Here is a question from the scriptures: "Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?" ~ Amos 3:3 Of course, not! In the bible we meet a concept called ‘unequal yoking.’ It means to enter into relationship with people whose principles, values, and priorities are different from your own. They may be nice people, and may go to church, but if what matters to you does not tally with what matters to them, it is going to be a challenge.
Again, some people may like you and not like your principles. If they do not like your principles, then, regardless of how nice they are and how much they like you, there is no point in connecting with them.
Before you enter into a serious relationship with anyone, find the right answers to the following questions: What do they believe? What are their guiding principles and ideologies? What are their priorities, their preferences, their values? These are important things you must examine before connecting with anyone for anything, in order to develop strong, lasting, and productive relationships with them.
#3 Be careful of those who want something they are unwilling to pay for
As you become more successful, as you discover yourself and focus on your vision, principles, and priorities, many people will want to connect with you. People like good things, but are often unwilling to pay the price. They want to connect with the successful. They want to connect with disciplined, principled, people of integrity. However, are they willing to pay the price? Are they willing to walk in your ways? Are they willing to move in your direction?
Settle these things before you connect with people, whether socially, politically, ministerial, marital, or in business.
#4 Do not build relationships on sentiments
Relationships based on sentiments and material benefits do not last very long. They are not strong. The foundation of sentiments – or material benefits – is rather too weak to power highly productive and enduring relationships. I am referring here to relating with someone because he or she gives you money, or some other material gains. These are very parasitic relationships and do not amount to much.
The strongest relationships result from shared vision, principles, and values. They are solid. Their duration stems from the strength of those visions, principles, and values.
Take time today to re-evaluate all of your relationships. Ensure that they are on solid grounds.