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10 Ways to Develop and Maintain Healthy Personal and Professional Relationships

My presentation at a recent women’s conference in North Carolina, “10 Ways to Develop and Maintain Healthy Personal and Professional Relationships,” was so well received, I thought I should share the highlights with you.

#1: Put Yourself First
You cannot be of service to others if you do not take care of yourself first.

#2: Give Tough Love
Sometimes you have to tell folks what they need to hear instead of what they want to hear. They will thank you later.

#3: Be There During the Good Times and the Bad
Do not be a “fair weather” friend or colleague. Be there during the good and bad times, just as you would expect others to be there for you.

#4: Know Your Audience
Do not communicate with a client or boss the way you would communicate with your BFF.

#5: Maintain Appropriate Boundaries
Do not tell your co-workers all of your personal business. They will most likely use it against you later.

#6: Burn Rotting Bridges
You may have heard that you should never burn bridges. Rotting bridges need to be burnt – before they burn you.

#7: Communicate Openly and Honestly
Communicating openly and honestly means you do not have to lie. Once you tell one lie, you will have to tell 10 others to cover the first.

#8: Be Willing to Say it Directly To Them or say Nothing At All
If you are not prepared to say something to a person’s face, do not say it to others.

#9: Put People First
Put people first – above possessions. You will be glad you did – and they may reciprocate.

#10: Remember that Not all White Folks Dislike You and That Not all Black Folks Like You
The conference audience was predominately African-American, which is why I included this point. The people who may help you the most in life may not look like you. The ones who may hurt you the most may look like you. No matter what race you are, judge people by how they treat you – and not by the color of their skin.

What are your thoughts? What are other ways to develop and maintain healthy personal and professional relationships?

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