The subject of relationships is important to me. It must be due to my history, beginning with all eight of our family members, including myself, living in crowded apartments. It is the foundation of who and what I became—a teacher, a facilitator, a peacemaker, and a leader of leaders.I did not make any of me. I was made by my relationships with my parents, sister, and three older brothers.
So, what are the complex ingredients that make relationships so important?
Dialogue may be first in importance: brief disagreements never hurt those in relationships that work well and who are present with each other if each is hearing and doing their best to understand what is being said. Hearing leads to confirming, which is not agreement but understanding. Honesty is what those in quality relationships experience. At these times, all are together in maximum equality. There is no leader, no follower, but people in a relationship.
When a leader takes charge, the relationship changes; dialogue does not exist; instead, there is only monologue. Then, it becomes the leader’s responsibility to “empower” the other, which means recreating dialogue. No environment is as productive to relationships as the “Level Playing field.” Empowering this is the job of parents, couples, teachers, and leaders of every kind. They are responsible for the environment and relationships that empower, equalize, and nurture the best possible relationship between people.