How to Build a Relationship With Just About Anyone

Conflict Resolution 2Practice the 3 R’s – to establish trust and build relationships with the people you work with and interact with. Have you ever met someone for the very first time and thought, “Yuck – what a dink?”. (I don’t mean Double Income No Kids). There is just something about them that you don’t like. For what ever reason they rub you the wrong way. The truth of the matter is sometimes you have to work with – or interact with – people you don’t like. Even if you don’t like them – you still need to find a way to work with them. I have a solution for you. Think of someone who you work with that for what ever reason, you are having difficulty getting along with them. I want you to try this little experiment and see if it helps repair that relationship or a least make it bearable. I call it the 3 Rs to building relationships and establishing mutual trust with just about everyone and anyone.

Rapport: Start a conversation and find out something about them that you can talk about. What are their hobbies? Do they have children, play sports or read books? What do they love to do in their spare time? You can’t build a relationship with anyone that you haven’t established a rapport with first. Get them talking about themselves or what they love to do, and you are on your way to the next step. You are on your way to likeability.

Relationship: People like to hang around with, and interact with people they like. The more conversations you can have with that person or persons, the more likely it is that you are breaking down those barriers and are becoming more likable. Soft-skills – the ability to communicate and interact more effectively with others is a necessary skill in building relationships. Building a relationship is key to getting along with people – even the ones you don’t like.

Respect:  You don’t respect anyone you haven’t built a relationship with first. Out of a relationship comes mutual respect. You might not agree with everything they have said or done – but because you have built a relationship with them, you will respect the fact that they have a right to their own opinion and a right to live their lives as they see fit. We tend to agree to disagree with people we respect.

If you have navigated the three-step process successfully you will be able to establish trust in your relationship with the people you work with and interact with. You never trust anyone you don’t respect first. As friends, parents, managers, leaders, and coaches sometimes you need people to take a leap of faith. Sometimes you don’t have all the answers and need them to trust you. If you have established mutual respect in your relationships, then they will trust you. They will take that leap of faith knowing that you would never set them up for failure. They’ll know you have their best interest in mind.

Copyright (c) 2017. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit

Another Year Older – Not Necessarily Wiser

birthday-cake-2I gave up celebrating my birthday years ago. Once you reach my age, the thrill of blowing  out a bunch of candles looses its appeal. Besides, I’m so old you can’t get a cake big enough for all of them. I have my parents to thank for my good health because the only pills I take are vitamins. Birthdays for me are a time for reflection. A time to look back on the year that was and think about the lessons learned. I figure if you aren’t learning anything new you are robbing yourself of the opportunity to grow. It’s a time to plan for the year ahead. Life is a planned event. Wishing and hoping won’t make it so. But mostly my birthday is a time to celebrate my accomplishments and think about all those things that I am thankful for.

I am thankful for:

  • A very special someone in my life who loves me – faults and all
  • Musical friends and the love of music.
  • What I get to do for a living
  • My son
  • My grandchild – who I get to hang out with
  • My ex-wife who is one of my closet friends
  • My siblings – Greg, Terry, Jerry, Randy and specially Laurie
  • Golf – playing and watching – but mostly playing
  • Movies
  • Red wine
  • Friday night date nights with my special girl Chloe
  • Quite alone time
  • Coffee
  • Spending time with the love of my life. Nothing in this world beats that
  • NFL football
  • College sports
  • A great italian restaurant
  • French fries with mayo
  • Hamburgers with bacon and cheese
  • Friends and family – too many to mention them all
  • Loving parents who are no longer with me but still watch over me
  • My girls – Minnie and Calley
  • Today
  • Tomorrow
  • Blue skies, green grass and sunshine
  • September weather
  • Four seasons, although I’m not really big on winter.
  • Being another year older – Not Necessarily Wiser

I could go on and on and on. I have a great deal to be thankful for. My life is still a mystery to me. There is no way I would have predicted being where I am at this juncture in my life. It’s been filled with both highs and lows. The lows have made me stronger. I know that there is nothing that I can’t overcome. The highs have taught me to be humble and not to get too full of myself.  Reality has a way of bringing you back down to earth.

What are you thankful for? In spite of all the craziness that is going on in your life, take a moment and make a list of all those things you are thankful for. You’ve got a lot going for you – you just may have forgotten them.

Copyright (c) 2016. Brian Smith – Voted Top 100 Leadership Expert, Management Consultant and Author. specializing in soft-skills training and leadership development. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit.

What I’ve Come To Know So Far

I spent Sunday morning reflecting on my past and what I have come to know so far? These appear here in no particular order.

I have come to know that:

  • The Rolling Stones are right – “You can’t always get what you want”.
  • Shit happens and sometimes there is nothing you can do about it.
  • There is no such thing as “Common Sense”. They should call it “Life Sense”. It just seems the older you get the smarter you get.
  • There are slow learners and it may not be their fault.
  • Life is a planned event. Wishing and hoping won’t make it so.
  • Getting married won’t complete you.
  • Without having both a physical and emotional attraction with your significant other you stand very little chance of having a long-term relationship.
  • There is smart – and then there is smart.
  • You don’t know what you don’t know until you know that you don’t know it.
  • Golf is a whole lot harder than they make it look on TV.
  • Your “Sole Mate” is out there somewhere. Don’t settle – keep looking.
  • Some people are surprised that I got this far. Other people aren’t
  • Age is just a number. Of course that depends on what type of medication you’re taking.
  • When you fall in love – your rational brain stops working.
  • Life is not perfect but it beats the heck out of the alternative.
  • When I was growing up I wanted to be an artist or a truck driver. I became a College Professor and Published Author instead.
  • Never ever give up. Keep at it because you’ll eventually get there.
  • You can never go home again is true because nothing stays the same.
  • Nobody is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes – so learn to forgive but never forget.
  • You can’t have it all
  • There is no such thing as a balanced lifestyle
  • I have a lot more to learn about everything
  • Life isn’t fair – get over it and move on.
  • I have a lot more things I want to accomplish, but time is not on my side.
  • You can’t make time – but you sure can waste it.
  • They say money can’t buy you happiness but I’d like to give it a try
  • The “Beatles” are the greatest band – ever
  • You don’t have to know everything but you need to know who does.
  • Your Mother is always right.
  • Respect your elders. They know more stuff then you do because they have lived longer.
  • Being married is not a life sentence. If you aren’t getting what you want out of that relationship it’s time you moved on. Life is too short to settle.

Now it’s your turn. What have you come to know so far?

Copyright (c) 2015. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Looking for a keynote speaker who can entertain as well as inform on a variety of soft-skills topics? Give Brian a call.