Building Strong Relationships to Achieve Results

December 10, 2018

In the November Round Table meetings, we discussed the topic of “Building Strong Relationships to Achieve Results.”

As a reminder, our next Leadership Breakfast will be at the Kalamazoo Country Club on January 18, 2019 featuring Michelle Mei, Chief Talent Officer at Momentum Development Group. Michelle will be speaking on the topic of “Effective Talent Planning is a Necessity in Building a Great Team.” Click here to save your seat!

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Below are the notes from the November Round Table meetings.

Plymouth Round Table

Q1: Why do we need strong relationships?

  • We need strong relationships to establish a trusted team environment.  A team that has strong/trusted relationships has emotionally engaged team members that focus on the team goals, not on their own personal objectives.  This bolsters the human spirit, improving creativity and effectiveness.  TEAM = Together Everyone Achieves More.

Q2: What defines a strong relationship?

  • Characteristics of a strong relationship:  open communication, mutual trust, shared risk, empathy toward each other, mutual respect, unwavering mutual support, consistency in all relationship drivers, honesty, love.

Q3: What methods do you use to create strong relationships?

  • Engage the other party in a positive, non-threatening manner.  Make the first step toward building the relationship.
  • Empathize with the other party – understand what their goals and challenges are.  Be a good listener.
  • Engage in events, meetings, personal/professional development to develop relationships.
  • Honestly practice self-awareness.  Be aware of your strengths/weaknesses and modify your behavior to have a more positive effect on the relationship.  Exhibit honesty and humility.

Q4: How do you maintain a strong relationship?

  • Strong relationships can be hard to maintain.  It is important to make an effort to stay in touch, even when it is difficult to do so.  Unexpectedly offer help/support to others, while being gracious enough to accept the support offered to you. Two good sayings to remember are: “It takes a friend to be a friend” and “What would Jesus do?”

Q5: If a relationship gets damaged, how do you repair it?

  • Honesty is key to repairing a damaged relationship.  Try to understand the other party’s position before confronting them.  Discuss the situation quickly so that it doesn’t degrade further.  If you are at fault, admit it and apologize, make amends if possible.  If another party is at fault, openly discuss your views and be forgiving.  Keep an open mind, you might be partially to blame and don’t realize it.  In some rare instances, you may need to retreat and see if time will improve the situation.  Prayer is very helpful. Allow some time to pass before misunderstandings are frequent and need to be identified.

Takeaways for today:

  • Relationships can be very difficult in today’s “Me” vs. “We” society. We are constantly bombarded by this message in all areas of society and must fight this.
  • The growth of electronic communication methods has taken a toll on personal relationships. Electronics often cannot convey the true meaning of a message and it is very easy for a misunderstanding to occur.  A bad situation can often be diffused by just making a phone call or personal visit.
  • Personal responsibility is a concept that seems to be increasingly diminishing in society, making it difficult to maintain relationships. Society has developed a victim’s mentality where it is always someone else’s fault when a problem occurs.  As leaders, we to fight this by setting a good example and accepting responsibility for our actions.
  • Trust in God: We need to pray for God’s support/guidance in difficult situations and recognize that God is constantly putting good people and opportunities in our lives.
  • It often helps to practice a 24-hour life cycle, focus on today, forget about the difficulties of the past. Treat every day as game day.  Remember that God will get us through any challenge if we trust in Him.

Kalamazoo Round Table (Tuesday)


  • Building the right team.
  • Knowing the parameters and purpose of each relationship.
    • Some relationships can be counter productive.
    • Strong relationships are not always good from a leadership perspective.
  • It takes time to build trust.


  • Take 100% responsibility for all of your relationships. It is up to us to make the relationship what we want/need it to be.
  • How does the relationship help to achieve results?
    • We can’t do everything on our own.
    • Need team to have complimentary relationships. Each person’s strengths and weaknesses balance our own and those of others’.
    • A team of people that are too similar can cause issues and gaps in results.
  • Identify how to build relationships. Do not focus only on the results.
    • It is not necessarily a negative to focus on the results of a relationship. All relationships have a purpose and produce some sort of result whether personal or professional. .
  • Building relationships requires listening.
    • Ask lots of questions.
    • You can’t learn while you’re talking.
  • Use profile assessments during the interview/hiring process.
  • Extend trust to your employees.
    • In abilities: sometimes your employees will surprise you in how they step up in a time of need. Allow them to take on more responsibility.
    • In discernment: If they do not trust someone, find out why. Do not simply dismiss their concerns.
  • Low talent stars are critical. They are foundational to the team.
  • Think like a sports coach.
    • No one expects a coach to build a team simply through stats. He is strategic in his recruiting and building of the team.
    • A coach also reassesses each year. He expects that his players will change and rotate each season depending on the needs of the entire team/”to achieve results.”
  • Experiment. Do not be afraid to fail.

Kalamazoo Round Table (Friday)


  • Relationships – Work is work – not for friendship.
    • You have to be friendly, but not “buds.”
  • Why do people stay?
  • Best friends at work?
  • Finding commonalities – “About Me” form.


  • Difference approach to different people.
  • Make sure they have the tools to do the job well and have the balance. Build this into your culture.
  • Implement a buddy system/mentor from day one. Same age/same gender.
  • Use a tool to help remember.
  • Share behavioral/strengths assessment results.
  • If you’re happy with your personal life/ goals you’ll be happy at work.
  • Guide to
  • Out of all the characters you know, who do you most identify with?
  • R + D – Redo and Do
  • EOS – Accountability support.
  • Communicating regularly their responsibility to the goals and coach them through it.
  • “Corporate Nonsense” – Help to not overcomplicate the goals.
    • Relationships –
  • Book: “Green Manager”
  • 4 X 40 – Review every forty days.
  • Track your reviews.


  • About them – be the guide/yoda.
  • Make sure you are a filled donut/without a void.
  • Tools – EOS
  • All or nothing.
  • Hero vs. Guide – Be the guide.
  • Book: “Story Brand”

Join us for our December Round Tables as we discuss “The Strategic Importance of Trust & How to Build It.” RSVP to