Fri | Jan 19, 2018

Enduring Relationships - Corporate Crossover

Published:Sunday | April 9, 2017 | 12:00 AMTrevor Smith

As the author of 7 Keys To Lasting Relationships, I was struck by the fact the Massy Group CEO listed 'enduring relationships' as one of their core values.

I am not aware of Massy's strategy or approach to the issue of enduring relationships, however, I can appreciate that an enterprise would want to keep their customers and retain good staff, so having enduring relationships can be a logical objective for organisations.

I thought that it would be fun to pick three of my seven keys to lasting relationships and see if they would have relevance to organisations. I decided to pick 1, 3 and 5.


#1 Choose wisely and back your choice


Being able to enjoy a lasting relationship really starts with making wise selections. "Take time to know her ... it is not an overnight thing" are lyrics from a Percy Sledge hit song that provides sound advice.

We underestimate the great damage that bad hires do to an organisation, and the hired individual. So, choosing wisely is the foundation of enduring staff relationships in the corporate realm.

However, let us not ignore the advice that speaks to backing your choice. Once the choice has been made, commit to making the relationship last. In the era of pre-nuptials, 'till death do us part' should still be in the consciousness of the partners. Similarly, organisations should develop excellent orientation procedures and create environments in which employment is mutually beneficial and satisfying.

I have been advocating for more structured and information-driven introduction of new entrants into an organisation and team. Why not identify the behavioural preferences of team members and make them more comfortable and engaged by communicating with them in a behavioural language that increases their productivity and comfort?


#3 Take the forgiveness drug


A direct quote from 7 Keys suggests that forgiveness is essential in both personal and organisational domains.

"Grudges filled with resentment, vengeance, and hostility take root when you dwell on hurtful events or situations, replaying them in your mind many times. Soon, you may find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. You may feel trapped, and may not see a way out. It's very hard to let go of grudges at this point and, instead, you may remain resentful and unforgiving.

The processing of events has a great deal to do with the capacity to forgive. How you file away events will greatly influence whether you are able to get past them in the future. Sometimes, we record the events in such a manner as to make it extremely difficult for us to respond positively in the future."

In our 'Success with People' workshops and webinars, there is a role-play exercise in which I offer to help someone on a very important project. Having made the offer, I confess that I had shared negative information about them to management. The vast majority of participants expressed strong rejection of my offer of assistance. Would you accept?

By the way, if you pray, can you recall having asked for forgiveness ... about the same issue ... more than once?

The clincher from Keys: "Clinical psychologist Everett Worthington, Jr points out that people who forgive may have better health, fewer episodes of clinical depression, longer marriages and better 'social support', another indicator of well-being. Forgiveness is in essence a wonder drug."


#5 Put God at the centre of the relationship


The single most important key to success in your relationship is to commit everything to God. If the partners submit to the will of God, their relationships will last.

Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and He will establish your plans."

Organisations are increasingly recognising the importance of values as a key component of their strategic planning and day-to-day operating philosophy. Embrace values as a core strategic imperative and develop policies around them for more enduring relationships. Engaged, values-driven staff will create enduring client relationships.

- Trevor E. S. Smith is a behaviour modification coach with the Success with People Academy home of the revolutionary FinxS Platform from Extended DISC. Conduct behavioural assessments, employee satisfaction, 360 performance evaluations and team reports with logistics-friendly technology. Email: