David Maister posted a very simple
statement a few days ago and asked his readers for their thoughts.

Secret of a Great Marriage Is

To give your love without
conditions, but to work every day to deserve the love you receive in return.”  

Consider this statement
when you substitute other words for love. How about respect, support, or even, time?

His point was to
illustrate that marriage is a relationship. And like other relationships (for example, professional relationships)
there are ways to build a strong, successful, and rewarding marriage.  

The post started a great discussion. David’s readers came up with several
strategies for maintaining healthy relationships – most of which we all
probably know. 

So why don’t we always act on
that knowledge? 

One reason is because our
lives just keep getting busier. 

When pushed to the limit,
the first thing that tends to go is our relationship building skills! In our rush we don’t take the time to treat
people with respect, empathize with their position, and support them whenever
we can. 

The irony is that building
strong relationships can actually help us alleviate some of our time
pressure. We’ll develop bonds with those
that can offer counsel. We might find
people that can help us accomplish our objectives. We might even be able to remove obstacles by
learning what motivates those around us.

Relationship building is
not just an investment of our time in those around us. It’s also an investment in our own