Traits of A Healthy Relationship

One of the most difficult things for any of us to do is to enter into relationship in our personal or professional lives. No matter who we are, we are going to have to figure our way through the relationships of our lives. Several years ago, I attended a relationship keynote address which was delivered by a well-known psychologist. Although there were many interesting facts and tidbits of advice provided during his talk, the thing that stuck out for me was his point that relationships – good relationships – need to be grounded on a set of known principles by which all parties in the relationship are willing to abide. His point was to set up the guidelines that are important to you in your life – your personal life and your professional life – and live your life exuding those principles daily. I left the presentation that day realizing that I really had never thought about identifying a set of over-arching principles by which to live my own life, let alone implement in my relationships. So, I took the professor’s advice and went home and delved into deep thought about what relational principles are most important to me. What I came up with for myself is this:

7 Unifying Principles (In Personal Life & Business)

1.      Unconditional Respect – Respect one another mutually and unconditionally.

2.     Unconditional Trustworthiness – Accomplishing one’s mission is possible only when we have established a firm foundation of trust. Trust depends on an individual’s desire to be trustworthy.

3.     Teamwork – Ego takes a backseat to teamwork. Personal preference must be set aside to avoid disharmony.

4.     Open, Forthright Communication – Communicate positively, stating what you do want, rather than what you don’t want; if you disagree with another, speak only with that person to find ways to resolve the challenge.

5.     Perpetual Growth – Growth in relationship is a natural by-product of paying attention to personal and professional growth. There should be no such thing as the status quo in relationships. One is either growing, or going – to leave the relationship that is!

6.     Reverence – to enjoy successful relationships the parties must have reverence for one another; protecting the relationship, its principles, image, security, and fiscal and financial wellbeing.

7.     Humour & Goodwill – Everyone plays an important role in spreading goodwill and maintaining a sense of humour in the relationship. Negativism and cynicism are in direct opposition to a vital and healthy relationship.

Over the years I have grown into these 7 Unifying Principles, both in my personal and business lives. The more ingrained they have become in me the stronger my relationships have become in all aspects of my life. Many people I’ve talked to believe that the 7th Unifying Principle was simply thrown in by me to get to the perfect #7. In fact, the reality is that I believe the Unifying Principles I have developed to manage my life could flow from 1 to 7 or 7 to 1. Unifying Principle 7 (Humour & Goodwill) is every bit as important to me as Unifying Principle 1 (Unconditional Respect). In my mind if a person entered into a relationship consciously wanting to ensure the relationship was filled with humour and goodwill – relationship failure rates would drastically decrease. After all, if someone actually wants the best for a person in every conversation and in every action, that’s a really good foundation to build a relationship. It’s worked for me!

So, your homework YBL family is to sit down over a warm coffee or tea or your favourite beverage and come up with a list of relationship traits that you would value and see how strategically and consistently implementing these traits into the way you conduct yourself in relationships helps improve and protect those relationships that you value so much.

Let us know some of your thoughts YBL family – we are interested to hear what you come up with as your relationship guidelines.


Tom Watson

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