I’ve been watching as the monument of a house at the end of Foreshore Road is being built. This owner/builder has been methodical and meticulous with every stage it seems, from the careful laying of foundations to the management and checking of sub-contractors’ work. Everything looks promising.
Relationship building is no different.
Not only do relationships need to be built from the ground up, like the house, they need maintaining once the construction phase is complete. Maintenance can even seem like harder work. This is probably because we don’t get as much visual feedback for our investment of effort. Yet, to keep things on track and viable we do need to invest.
At every stage of construction, and throughout the life of the house, the house will require inspection—to check for anomalies, the condition of things, wear and tear etc. Part of the process is about observing how things are going (or wearing out) over time.
We are loath to forget our relationships either. Instead of inspections, however, we’re managing expectations all the time; using feedback as a gauge for the condition of things. We’re constantly checking the foundations of trust, ensuring we are always doing enough to engender trust via respect for the other party. These two pillars—trust and respect—are the bricks and mortar of our relational constructions.
When we see two people chatting at a work get-together—two people who need each other in their work—how readily don’t we see the large safety sign: CONSTRUCTION SITE – KEEP OUT! We must respect boundaries. We must not impede the rapport.
Construction projects are fun and we should enjoy every stage of them. Constructing rapport is the business of humanity. What are you constructing today? How do you plan to construct? What checks will you have in place? What feedback will you be seeking?
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.