Steven Coveys statement is endorsed by years of wisdom. I think we wish that it weren’t true!

It echoes the saying that often the longest distance between two points is a short cut.

A contented life will radiate a quality of sustainable relationships which evolved over time, and have stood the test of time.

We will get the urge to take relationship short cuts so be on guard should it happen as it will overpower the golden rule and taint the relationship.

Last week I was in the ‘arena’ and after a specific interaction I needed to remind myself of how this golden rule had practically played out, which led me to write this post.

The start of the initial business relationship with someone may include knowledge about your reputation, should it not you will ‘meet’ one another on neutral ground, a blank sheet from which both parties’ expectations will emanate.

I cannot imagine an authentic relationship developing without trust and respect, however these essential qualities may be ignored through time or value perceptions by either or both parties. It’s why at the start of relationships we tend to ‘lend’ those qualities to the other person, rightly so, as it enables the relationship to evolve accelerating positive results through goodwill, synergised minds and focus.

The lending tests the integrity of the relationship while simultaneously allowing it to elevate to another level until lending is no longer required, as trust and respect have now been earned. It’s the pinnacle of the relationship and sweet reward as the view is always best from the top.

However, lending and earning will be tested through any form of conflict. Should you value the relationship the conflict needs to be addressed and resolved lest it erodes the trust and respect earned. This would make things awkward. It would be tragic if the quality of the relationship diminished to the level (or worse) on which it first began.

How could one evaluate their key relationships? I would suggest that your key relationships have reached the pinnacle when you don’t fully understand what their hand may be doing but you trust in the sincerity of their heart.

I am the author of Leading Self and Others (how to make a difference where you are with what you’ve got) and Teaming with ideas (life lessons in teams- from business, sport and parkrun). You can contact me here.