Flying a Great Relationship

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People ask me how hard is a Great Relationship.


I respond, “It is not rocket science.  It can’t be. Anyone can build a great relationship.”

And I have come across an image, that isn’t far from what most of us think is “rocket science,” that may be helpful to you.

“Having a great relationship is about as difficult as routinely flying a Boeing 747 from San Francisco to New York.  If you think a great relationship is impossible, just look up some day and see how many planes are flying.”

If you think it is difficult, ask a pilot.  Now a pilot will typically pause and then say, “No, it is not difficult.”  “How come,” you say?  “Well,” says the pilot, “You just follow the rules, the procedures and it’s not hard.  There are rules for everything: landing, taking off, closing doors, refueling, etc.  One procedure is to keep on the alert for trouble, cuz each type of trouble has it’s own procedure.  The hard part is not the flying.  The hard part is all the years of learning the procedures (the skills), practicing to make them automatic skills, and proving to the owners of the planes that you are skilled at those procedures.  That’s the hard part.

That is it.  The hard part of a relationship is learning the skills that work, and unlearning the skills you now have that do not work.  Skill learning seems to me to be

  • 1% learning the skill,   (what to do)
  • 2% learning the theory behind the skill,   (why to do it)
  • 97% practice-to-make-it-easy.

Thus a useful trait is the attitude of a “stubborn learner.”  (And tis all about building Relational Intelligence – RI.)

Actually, in practice, it seems the most tricky step is to admit to yourself that what you are doing is not working (is not getting you off the ground, or is not keeping you in the air) and that you need to learn something new – fast.

My advice to you, when you have trouble, is to find a more experienced “pilot” and ask them what they would do.  Then make better choices.

This website is full of the skills (procedures), and the theories behind them.  You supply the practice.  So go ahead: Learn, practice, apply, and fly well!

Check out How to Use this Website.



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