How to build strong relationships in 2024

Relationships are hard.

Perhaps that’s not surprising given the diverse people we meet and interact with in our lives, much like Zora Neales Hustron writes in Their Eyes Were Watching God (also available on Audible):

Love is like the sea. It’s a moving thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from the shore it meets, and it’s different with every shore.

For more inspiration, here are some of my favourite Seth Godin quotes from his 2023 blog posts, together with a recommended title from Blinkist.

A gift doesn’t diminish the giver. Sharing creates connection, possibility and energy. ~ Generosity and gratitude

Learn more: Generosity Wins

As our world has gotten more crowded and more connected, it’s easier than ever to step on someone’s toes. Culture gives us the chance to create the conditions for people to embrace a longer-term view. ~ Are we cannibals?

Learn more: Digital Body Language

A wedding is an event, a marriage is a journey. ~ An event or a journey?

Learn more: The Science of Happily Ever After

Conversations are the tools that change our culture. Someone who cares talking with and teaching and learning from someone who was ready to engage. ~ The spark

Learn more: Everyone Communicates Few Connect

Empathy is a first step toward connection. ~ Two sides of “a big deal”  

Learn more: Social Empathy

For people seeking to make a difference, it begins with helping other people make a difference. ~ Just looking 

Learn more: How to Be Love

If we want things to get better, it helps to encourage people who are eager to make things better. ~ The 500 ways

Learn more: The Art of Influence

If you’re not prepared to sing alone, it’s difficult to get to the point where people sing along with you. ~ The audacity of the crowd anthem

Learn more: Influence is Your Superpower

It’s easy to become so focused on checking the boxes that we forget that there are people involved. Peers, colleagues and friends with something human to offer, if we only cared enough to connect. ~ Which agenda? 

Learn more: Plays Well With Others

It’s not easy to see ourselves as others do. But perhaps they’re onto something. ~ Fooling ourselves  

Learn more: Read People Like a Book

Messages merely begin with the text. The rhythm, presentation, source, and context deliver most of what we take away from a message. ~ It goes without saying

Learn more: The Communication Code

Micro-emotions appear on our face and then disappear in less than a second. Blink and you’ll miss them. But sometimes, people don’t blink. ~ Flashing on contempt

Learn more: What Every BODY is Saying

Opening the door for others makes it more likely that others will open the door for us. ~ Generous and selfish

Learn more: Relational Intelligence

Sometimes, more words aren’t better. ~ Avoid unnecessary amplifiers

Learn more: You’re Not Listening

The benefit of the doubt is priceless. And yet people waste it every day. ~ Cheating at golf          

Learn more: Doesn’t Hurt to Ask

The interesting question isn’t whether someone has status. It’s whether they’re gutsy enough to demonstrate it by making things better for others. ~ Conspicuous (non) consumption

Learn more: The Status Game

There’s a lot to be said for honesty and directness. But concealment can be a generous tool if it helps everyone get to where they need to go. ~ The generosity of concealment

Learn more: Say What You Mean

The speed of our forward motion is directly related to the velocity of the people around us. ~ Study groups

Learn more: The Social Leap

We can wrestle with a challenge or a problem and find energy and possibility while doing it. And we can dance with someone else as we seek a mutual way forward. ~ Wrestling, fighting or dancing?

Learn more: You Can Negotiate Anything

When someone acts in a surprising way, we can begin to understand by wondering what they might be afraid of. ~ When in doubt, look for the fear

Learn more: Dangerous Personalities

When we ask someone to do something for us that we wouldn’t recommend they do for someone else, an important bond is lost. ~ Hustles end badly   

Learn more: Negotiation Genius

When we gradually walk our way to conclusions, we’re a lot more likely to find something useful. Leaping is best reserved for generous acts. ~ Jumping to conclusions

Learn more: How to Be Heard

When we raise our expectations for a student, a friend or a co-worker, we open the door to possibility. We offer them dignity and a chance to grow. We are offering them trust. ~ The power of expectations

Learn more: Trust

While throwing shade might be more fun, it eventually runs out of energy. It’s designed to end conversations, not start them, to intimidate, not encourage. Turning on lights helps everyone. ~ Throwing shade or throwing light?

Learn more: Gaslighting

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