And, my observations and experience tell me that rules without relationship create more problems than they solve. In the context of this blog, I am not addressing the rules, regulations, and laws of our larger society. I’m pointing towards closer personal and professional relationships. I’m thinking in terms of families, business, churches, and civic organizations. I’m talking about situations where you know, live, and work closely with the other person.
For example, in my role as a parent, I have certain rules and expectations of my two daughters. I expect them to follow those rules for the good of the family. And, if I lean only on the rules and ignore building a relationship with them, I will get rebellion rather than willing compliance.
By that I mean that you need both rules and relationship to make it work. Rules set the context and the expectations of behavior. Relationship paves the way for communication about those expectations. You can and should set and enforce rules. And, you should develop a relationship before you attempt to enforce them.