ABC’s of Improving Relationships

ABC’s of Improving Relationships

Relationships are often challenging.  This is especially true when you are working on teams or living in close proximity.  Whether that difficult person for you is your spouse, your child, your boss, or your teammate, you need to find a way of relating that is healthy and productive.  The good news is that there is hope!

SDI teaches us that people have different lens through which they see the world.  People that are the most challenging for us are people who don’t see the world the way we do.  They seem to come with very different perspectives that seem odd or even wrong.  How do we work through these difficulties in a way that improves relationships?

Try these three easy steps.  They are easy as ABC (© 2018 Personal Strengths Publishing)

  • Assess Motives: Think about the person you are working with.  What MVS do you see at work motivating their behavior?  Are they Red, Green, Blue, or HUB?  If you see more than one MVS at work, perhaps they are a blend.   Improved relationship always begins by understanding motives.


  • Bring the Right Strengths: Think about the results you are trying to produce.  There are 28 strengths that you can choose from that may help you produce those results.  You are not limited to the strengths that you use most of the time or that you are most comfortable with.  Choose the right strength that is needed to achieve the goal desired.  By being more flexible in using strengths, you will become better at relationships.
  • Communicate in the Right Style: Before you communicate, think through what style of communication would work best with this MVS.  What might you avoid?  What are the key points that will help you communicate in a way that he or she will be most receptive to?  It is not enough to understand someone’s motivation or even chose the right strength.  You must be able to communicate it in a way that the person will receive your input.

These are the ABC’s of improving relationships.  Put your SDI training into practice every day by employing these steps.  In the beginning this may take some work, but over time, they will be natural to you.  It will be like learning to speak a new language, but not nearly as difficult.  You can master these skills and see dramatic results.

One tool that can assist you in this learning process is the SDI QUICK GUIDE.  It is a simple spiral bound flip book that gives you quick access to the information of the ABC’s.  For a very small investment, you can begin the journey of mastering the ABC’s of relationships and have the information at your fingertips.

The costs of poor relationships are numerous.  With all the stress, anxiety, and pain that comes from poor relationships, we suffer in lost joy, progress, momentum, and trust.  We may fail to achieve goals together and struggle to function with any efficiency.

As a Red, I often have difficulty with Green MVS.  I am in a hurry and Green’s want to make sure things get done right.  I want to see results and Green’s want to do the right things – which requires analysis and time.  When challenged by a Green MVS, my tendency is to see the Green as blocking our goal.  Without the ABC’s, Red MVS and Green MVS have a difficulty in relating effectively.

I worked with a Green MVS that applied the ABC’s in our relationship.  I wanted to launch a new program on a grand scale, believing that we could see tremendous advancement over the next year.  The Green MVS understood me.  They knew my Red MVS and my desire to move quickly as well as achieve results.  They Accessed my perspective and choose to Bring the right strengths.  They chose “forceful” which is a Red strength and responded with conviction and drive.  They also chose another Red strength “persuasive” and began to argue with conviction that we could achieve far more if we methodically rolled out the plan gradually rather than try to tackle it all in one year.  They Communicated in the right style avoiding words like “we can’t” and got right to the point.  They also connected with my motivation to achieve by telling me that by being methodical in our approach, we will be able to achieve even more than I had dreamed.  I received the contribution of the Green MVS more easily because they connected with my motivation.

Look for an opportunity to employ the ABC’s of improving relationships today.  I guarantee that you will see some eyes light up as you connect at the heart level.

Bruce Terpstra

Our President, Dr. Bruce Terpstra, has 36 years of pastoral ministry experience. He is a veteran of 17 years in denominational leadership and developed more than 70 new churches in the New York metro area and has given oversight to almost 400 pastors. He holds a doctorate in Leadership Development and is also the founder of 3KeyCoaching and the author of Three Passions of the Soul.