Credit for this blog goes to an interesting insight from Al Ritter’s book, 100/0. He espouses that the most effective way to create and sustain great relationships with others is for us to take full responsibility (the 100) for the relationship, expecting nothing (the 0) in return.

I love this concept yet, it is typically not ‘100%’ natural for most of us. It takes real commitment to the relationship and a good dose of self-discipline to think, act and give 100 percent. The 100/0 Principle applies to those people in our life where the relationships are too important to react automatically or judgmentally. Each of us must determine the relationships to which this principle should apply. For most of us, it applies to work associates, customers, suppliers, family and friends. He suggests the following steps:

  • STEP 1 – Determine what you can do to make the relationship work … then do it. Demonstrate respect and kindness to the other person, whether he/she deserves it or not.
  • STEP 2 – Do not expect anything in return. Zero, zip, nada.
  • STEP 3 – Do not allow anything the other person says or does (no matter how annoying!) to affect you. In other words, don’t take the bait.
  • STEP 4 – Be persistent with your graciousness and kindness. Often we give up too soon, especially when others don’t respond in kind. Remember to expect nothing in return.

He suggests this paradox: when we take authentic responsibility for a relationship, more often than not the other person will quickly chooses to take responsibility as well. Consequently, the 100/0 relationship quickly transforms into something approaching 100/100. When that occurs, true breakthroughs happen for the individuals involved, their teams, their organizations and their families.

I love this concept. Surely step 3 will prove difficult for many, yet, I love the challenge!