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The two super strengths for healthy relationships – business or personal!

Author: Janie Lambeth

The benefit Relationship Building and Critical Thinking brings to all your relationships.

The benefit Relationship Building and Critical Thinking brings to all your relationships. The second installment in our introduction to strengths-based development is all about romance. February, Valentine’s day, the month when we celebrate all things love. It isn’t really just about that, but it does give me a good reason to introduce you to the powers and benefits of Relationship Building and Critical Thinking…


I’m all for balance in a relationship 😉 But why these two strengths, hand in hand? Well, relationship building I think is fairly obvious. The desire to create and maintain relationships between people is undoubtedly an advantage in the world of romance. Someone has to make the first move and those of you with a strength here will not only find it easy but probably actually enjoy it.

We aren’t a dating agency though, so thankfully it’s not just in the world of romance where relationship building is brilliant. How many people dread networking events? Going to conferences and courses where you don’t know anyone and have to walk in, approach a stranger and introduce yourself or forever risk being alone, awkward and wishing for the event to end? “Yep, that’s me,” I hear you cry. (Me too.)

Our natural fight or flight response is inbuilt to protect us physically and emotionally.  It will naturally prevent us from putting our head above the parapet and making our presence known. Relationship builders seem able to ignore this when faced with the possibility of a new friend. That new friend could also be a new customer, client or colleague. That first introduction comes easily to people with this strength and can set them apart from their competition.

But beware, this trait can often be misread. It can look like over confidence, maybe even pushy or nosey. If you feel like that when confronted by someone, give them the benefit of the doubt. It might just be that you don’t have a strength in relationship building.

Critical thinking is another really useful strength in the world of romance and relationships, especially if you’re looking for something to last. Approaching a situation with a clear critical thought process means you can assess all angles of a situation, break them down systematically and evaluate them objectively. Not very romantic I know, but it does help get a balanced view and stop your emotions running away. It’s crucial to be able to get both positive and negative signs in proportion.

Just because someone likes the same brand of coffee and has been on holiday to the same Greek Island doesn’t make them a soul mate or the best next employee. Just because someone thinks rugby is better than football or has different political views doesn’t mean you are incompatible. Critical thinking as a strength enables you to appreciate perspectives, find the nub of an issue and therefore resolve problems, spot opportunities and drive change. What’s not to love? Watch out though, as if used too much, critical thinking can appear to be negative and overly critical to others.

Put these strengths together and you have a fantastic combination. Critical thinking will challenge, open up opportunities, create debate and resolve problems, while relationship building ensures there is no long-term damage to relationships, no winners and losers. Problems solved and peace maintained.

Don’t worry if you don’t recognise these in yourself as there is more than one way to get to the same outcome. Don’t waste energy wishing you were better at them. Instead, if you want to be able to build relationships with ease and unpick a problem with accuracy you might just have to reframe your approach and focus on your own unique combination of strengths.  That’s the beauty of this approach.

Fancy making a move or unpicking a problem and don’t know where to start? Don’t hesitate to get in touch and make the most of the month of love.  Just remember no combination of strengths will make up for an inappropriate card and poor taste in flowers, sorry I can’t help there.

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