Relationships: Building vs Maintaining

Relationships are tricky.  They start at random places – soccer games, first days of a new job, school functions, board meetings.  They only actually become a relationship, a thing that we can point to or hold up as something that has been created if we continue to deal with each other or are connected in some way.  See the basic definition:

Relationship (noun) – (Merriam-Webster.com)

  • the way in which two or more people, groups, countries, etc., talk to, behave toward, and deal with each other
  • the way in which two or more people or things are connected

We have to be careful to define it as a TRUe relationship just because we are connected through something like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.  This connection could be a great way to maintain a relationship, but is it how we create one?

There is a difference between creating and maintaining a relationship, and especially when onboarding a new person or leader into your organization.  Creating is the intentional work of forging connections and establishing positive behaviors towards each other.  Maintaining is the work you do to make sure trust continues to exist and there is a pull (not a push) to stay connected in some way.

It is easy to call something a relationship.  Great relationships take some work.  Slow down and build first.  Summer is a good time to slow down and build.