Getting along with people is more complicated than it seems. If it were easy, everybody would be good at it! But the truth is that conflict is part of human nature. Leaders with great relational abilities stand out head and shoulders above others. Leaders who struggle in relating to people struggle to build their churches.

12Stone Church

It’s intriguing that so much about the basics of relationships are simple, yet so often these basics are overlooked. I wonder how much stronger the church would be if leaders were consistent in their relational savvy. How many more visitors would churches might have if the congregation in general practiced the simple things?

I had a great dinner conversation with my family and we made a list of the top 10 “simple” basics. Which do you practice on a consistent basis? How about those on your team?

  • Always say thank you
  • Smile often
  • Use people’s names
  • Listen well
  • Practice generosity
  • Forgive quickly
  • Don’t judge or criticize
  • Compliment often
  • Encourage sincerely
  • Help others

These are all doable by nearly anyone. So, why are these basics so often missed?  Here are a few of my thoughts:

  1. Sometimes it’s as simple as a lazy or bad habit.
  2. Anyone can be distracted by unusually high levels of stress or worry. This can result in overlooking what seems like common sense behavior.
  3. This is less common, but some people were simply never taught the basics.
  4. At times, anyone can behave in a self-centered way. This produces the opposite of good people skills.
  5. Insecurity can get the best of nearly anyone.
  6. As odd as it may seem, some folks just don’t care.
  7. Significant levels of sustained pressure can cause even highly relational people to forsake the basics and what might otherwise come naturally.

As I reflect on these simple lists it helps me think about where I’m doing well and where I could use a “tune up”. How about you, your family, and your church team?