Building Productive Relationships by aihaozhe2


									Imagine that you are out with your partner for a country walk. You have both stopped
for a rest and are leaning on a gate admiring the view. A stranger approaches and asks
if you wouldn't mind doing him a favour. He asks you to climb over the gate, walk
across the field and meet him at the gate on the other side of the field. Being a trusting
and amenable couple, you agree to his request.

You are a goal directed individual and your natural inclination is to stride across the
field to get to the gate on the other side as quickly as possible. Half way across the
field, you look back and see your partner wandering to the side of the field to look at a
large tree. They then walk to the other side of the field to look at a pond. You feel
agitated. Why are they wandering around the field? Didn't they understand that you
both had to get to the gate on the other side? You then notice that they are heading
away from the gate and going over to talk to a farmer working in the next field. You
have now been at the gate for some time and can't believe that your partner still hasn't
arrived. Eventually your partner arrives and the stranger who asked you to walk
across the field joins you. You feel you have done much better than your partner. You
arrived at the gate in a quarter of the time it took them.

The stranger then explains to you both that he is a property developer and is thinking
of buying the field. He wants your views on its suitability for a housing development.
You really can't say much. You tell him the field looks nice and level and the access
looks OK. Your partner can say much more. The large tree at the side of the field
looks extremely old and will almost certainly have a preservation order on it. The land
around the pond was very boggy. Draining the land could be very expensive. Your
partner also explained that when they talked to the farmer, he said that the field had
been in his family for generations and was a special place for him. He would not let it
go cheaply. So, who's approach to the task was right? Sometimes it's best to take the
direct route and get there quickly; sometimes it's better to wander around, take your
time and find out more information along the way. There are no rights and wrongs,
just differences.

Our attitudes to life, our deep-seated feelings, standards and prejudices, are built up
gradually over our lives. In our early years, our parents and our teachers (the
important people) influence us and start to mould our feelings and values. We slowly
form a blue print, a stencil, of the way we think the world should be. We think that the
way we see the world, our standards and values are the right ones. The seeds are sown
for future relationship problems.

Each of us lives unique lives. Each of us forms our own unique blueprint. We're all
different. We may have a lot in common with a lot of people but there will be
differences. Once we start to understand that there can never be anyone exactly like us,
we have more chance of understanding others and getting on with them better.
Remember, others are just as convinced as you that their way of living is the right
So it's that ability to recognise the true worth of your own personality and the true
worth of other people's personality, which is central to having the skills to build good
relationships with others. So, building relationships is all about celebrating the
differences in people. It's not a negative thing. It's not about being critical of those
differences. It's about using those differences, building teams that make the most of
people's skills, not trying to change them so that they are like us.

Recognise the strengths in people and use those strengths. What a boring world it
would be if we were all the same! The starting point is to know your self first. As the
Great Book says, take the plank out of your own eye before attempting to remove the
splinter from someone else's!

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