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For a solid two months when I was in college, I ate PB&J sandwiches.  Not because I couldn’t afford anything else (well a little bit that), but because it was easy to make.  It took three ingredients and one tool.  Creamy Peanut butter (none of that chunky crap), jelly (smuckers was my jam), and homemade wheat bread.  My weapon of choice was a simple butter knife.  These four items were the essential elements I needed to maintain sustenance and energy to keep my day going.

I am a people person.  I thrive on interaction from the folks around me, in the community, as well as at work and with the clients I support.  Without this interaction, I slowly, but surely, die out.  So, taking my que from one of my favorite meals, here are the 4 things you need to help build an effective relationship.


1)    Peanut Butter – When you are building any relationship, it needs to have some stickiness to it.  Going into any relationship with the mentality of just getting what you want will get you nowhere.  It simply gets you stuck.  Ask questions and truly listen to what they say.  When you hear their response don’t think about your next response, think about how that comment sticks with you.  What in your life relates to what he/she just said.  When you make that connection, apply it with a smooth comment back into the conversation:  HENCE Creamy Peanut Butter.

2)    Jelly – Have you ever noticed, how much easier the jelly is to spread on the bread?  The trick I do is to use the knife to mix the jelly up in the jar and then spread away.  Just like the jelly, mix things up a bit.  Instead of being easily distracted by everything outside of the conversation, but your attention on the person and topic at hand.  Instead, of waiting to pounce on them with a response, let them talk and ask questions.  Instead of extracting what you want, give them what they need.

3)    Knife – As with any creation you need a tool to make it happen.  The knife spreads and fastens the deliciousness to its respective side, and there are a lot of things that you have at your disposal to use.

a.     Thank You Cards – Cost little to nothing and goes such a long way

b.     Continued Conversation – Don’t let the relationship die after just one convo

c.     Pre-Meeting Needs – Listen to what this person needs and DELIVER

 4)    Bread – Two pieces smashed next to one another to bring it all together.  The dance between PB & J is completed and then devoured.  When you are building any relationship make sure things are reciprocated.  Efforts, conversations, and most importantly actions.  This can happen in a professional or personal relationship.


These are just a few things and they are not limited to just these items.  What do you think I missed or what do you do to help build relationships in your life?  Comment below.