By Andro Donovan  author of ‘Motivate Yourself – Get the Life You Want’ is a globally sought after facilitator, speaker and consultant.

Motivate yourself. Get the life you want, find purpose and achieve fulfilment. Reviewed


Given the complexity of today’s personal and business challenges, compounded by 24/7 schedules and global competitiveness, working with another person, whether it be to create a loving relationship at home, or to develop and sustain a company, requires true relationship building capability.

There is no doubt that effective relationship building and connecting to your partner at home is a skill that will also pay dividends in the workplace.

My 7 top relationship-building skills

Listen to each other

Wives and husbands are pleading that they are so overwhelmed with the demands of work and children that they simply can’t create any space to listen and share intimate moments with their partner. The result is often an increasing sense of disconnection that gets expressed as problems with communication, disagreements over finances, parenting conflicts, or insufficient sex.

Allocating time in the work place to listen to people is just as important. Listening to people in the office lets them know you care and that you are interested in assisting them to solve their problem.

The simple act of reflecting back what you have heard creates space in the communication and respect. 

Appreciation and words of acknowledgement

Actively appreciating and acknowledging your loved one will encourage them and make them feel cherished. Feelings of trust and mutual respect typically increase. Once those cornerstones are in place, it’s remarkable how much easier it becomes to resolve conflicts of any nature. Happiness in a marriage is about feeling respected, cherished, and valued.

Our staff and managers need to be respected and acknowledged for the work they do. Noticing the good stuff and praising staff boosts their self- esteem and their sense of well-being. If you praise staff regularly the constructive feedback will be taken on board more readily.

Create a healthy environment

Creating a positive, calm and fun environment at home will help children develop positive attitudes. When marriages are working well, family’s function better. Children will not only find that their lives run more smoothly because their parents are in sync but will also be happier witnessing good relations between their parents. An added benefit is that a good marriage models for children what they need to learn for the day when they are married.

Similarly staff do not flourish in office environments where there is obvious clashes between the management team, backbiting and bitching. This creates a toxic culture where staff become negative and moral deteriorates. Managers must learn to get on with each other and walk the talk. Otherwise they are in danger of creating a cynical and disengaged workforce.

Make time to talk

To make the daily/weekly conversations happen at home requires some joint planning time. Get out your calendars, look at the week ahead and figure out when you can make time for each other.

Conversations should involve sharing information about work and family and other commitments or interests so you are able to nourish the sense of being best friends. Men need to talk about their jobs; an issue for some men who believe that increases rather than decreases their stress.

Talking to your team is an important routine to get into; creating connections with people who work for you, knowing what their goals and aspirations creates loyalty and positive behavior. Regularly being around at lunchtimes and hosting’ lunch time talking sessions’ is a good time to hear what’s going on from your team in a more relaxed environment.

Giving authentic feedback sensitively

Being emotionally honest in a routine way is important. If a spouse says or does something that hurts your feelings, let him or her know the specifics and most importantly how did the behavior make you feel.

Similarly it’s important to give specific and valuable feedback to people we work with. If we never tell each other the truth about the other person’s impact on us, so that they can adapt their behavior, the working relationship soon starts to deteriorate. Don’t wait for an annual appraisal to give feedback both positive and constructive its best done as soon as possible.

Get away from it all

Arranging an overnight or a weekend alone is a chance to rediscover the fun you once had when it was just the two of you.

Organizing off sites for your team periodically to give them a chance to stand back and review, get creative and have some social time with colleagues is a key ingredient to creating a positive culture and good team building.


The rocks of a good relationship are in creating joint projects with a common purpose. Whether it’s deciding to have kids, buy a house or plan an extended holiday all these activities encourage collaboration and involvement. It helps couples stay interested in each other. Without joint projects couples can become isolated and lonely, like ships in the night. Creating a joint purpose will keep a relationship thriving.

At the office, collaboration enables innovation, which plays a key role in a company’s ability to stay competitive.

Relationships emerge from trust, establishing trust by personal example is the best way to lead. That is, you follow through on your commitments, and you also reach out to help others achieve their goals. Leaders who do that build relationships with their employees and also build strong relationships with their peers. Management demands cross-functional collaboration but that can only occur when people know and trust each other.

Just like at home, genuine collaboration calls for the blending of ideas, a synthesis that creates a better whole.

Finally creating a happy home life will reduce stress levels and foster a healthy work-life balance.

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