4 Tips To Create Stronger Bonds

May 1st, 2017 by LaRae Quy

Contrary to popular television shows, FBI agents are the most effective when they create stronger bonds with the people in their investigations. Beating people into submission makes for a good action movie scene, but it’s not an agent’s first response when they face an obstacle or roadblock.

Brute force and ignorance can only take you so far; interviews, not interrogations, still remain the FBI’s primary investigative tool. Face-to-face conversations create stronger bonds of trust and understanding.

To be truly successful in today’s competitive marketplace, you must also learn how to create stronger bonds with the people around you. Communication must be crystal clear if you want to construct your business on a strong foundation.

Here are tips on you can create stronger bonds:


I live in Marin County, California where liberal helicopters parents enthusiastically mint the next generation of  Snowflakes (precious children who find their self-esteem damaged when criticized.) Trump supporters are labeled as deplorable blue collar workers, ignorant, uneducated, and racist.

But wait—when I engage in conversations with people in my community, I find that there are many smart people in Marin County who support Trump. I also find that they are not deplorables, blue collar workers, ignorant, uneducated, or racist. Some of my colleagues live in a bubble where they assume everyone thinks like they do. They continue to preach and rant when they really need to just shut up and listen.

I listen to my neighbors, and when I do, they talk. In the process, stronger bonds are created. Trust is built, slowly but surely.

TIP: Listen to what people have to say and give them an opportunity to express their opinions. Have the mental toughness to control your emotions, thoughts, and behavior. Do not preach at them or judge them. Instead, let them feel your sincerity.


Heineken recently blew away viewers with their ad that puts people from opposite sides of an issue in face-to-face conversations. Those conversations led to a powerful message—appreciation and strong bonds can exist between people who have polar opposite views on a political issue or current event.

The reason is simple: we long to be seen, heard, and understood. FBI agents engage in conversations because they’re a powerful way to meet that basic need. A need that is unmet in many of today’s relationships. Conversations create levels of intimacy because we are connecting with another human being.

TIP: Conversations are a key component of intimacy and connection. It means you need to respect the person across from you even if you do not agree with them.


Actively listening to a suspect accused of supporting and aiding a terrorist organization does not mean that the conversation will be easy. It does mean that it will help an agent move through the conversation more effectively.

Active listening helps create stronger bonds because the other person is aware that you are fully present. It doesn’t mean that you will know the right thing to say or the best way to respond. Agents are good listeners because they can sit with the discomfort of an awkward moment or an emotional outburst without judgment or retaliation.

TIP: If you are having a difficult conversation with a person, well-honed listening skills will help you move through it more effectively because those skills are allowing you to really hear the person’s story. Acknowledge what the person said. Do not criticize but be honest in your response. This is how to create stronger bonds.


In my interview training courses, I was taught to pay special attention when a suspect expresses a feeling. This was reinforced by my spiritual direction studies at San Francisco Theological Seminary. People are the most vulnerable and honest when they talk about their feelings.

Customers and team members may find it difficult, or even unprofessional, to express emotions. Instead, they often skirt around what they are truly feeling about an issue or situation. This means you will need to pay attention to words freighted with emotion or the needs they are experiencing.

TIP: Practice noticing when and how people express their feelings, in what context,which words they use, and the non-verbal hints that indicate an emotion or feeling. You will be more prepared when you have a difficult conversation later down the line.

© 2017 LaRae Quy. All rights reserved.

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Author of “Mental Toughness for Women Leaders: 52 Tips To Recognize and Utilize Your Greatest Strengths” and “Secrets of a Strong Mind.” 

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5 Responses to “4 Tips To Create Stronger Bonds”

  1. Fantastic post LaRae! Love your real-time examples from our politically charged culture. If we would all do as you suggest, and simply form a connection through relationships, we, and our country would all be better off! Thanks for your always insightful posts!

  2. Excellent post LaRae and such important tips about forming deeper connections with people!

    I work with so many different type of leaders and yet the ones who are most successful are the leaders that let people see their vulnerabilities. When leaders are open, the people they work with are more likely to be open too. That leads to trust and support. The relationships we form along the way are key to our influence and impact.

    Thanks LaRae and will share!

    • LaRae Quy says:

      It’s hard to show our vulnerabilities, Terri…especially to those we supervise. And there are always those who are quick to exploit those vulnerabilities in order to climb the corporate ladder. It really is a matter of knowing when and how to show others that we have weaknesses but that we’ve also learned how to manage them!

  3. Alli Polin says:


    There is so much here that resonates. It’s funny how so many people think they’re listening when they’re really just shouting their viewpoint from the mountaintops and listening to the echo.

    I’m also struck by this: “Agents are good listeners because they can sit with the discomfort of an awkward moment or an emotional outburst without judgment or retaliation.” One of the skills that I was taught in my coach training is to “be with” someone. Fully present, in the awkwardness of silence, tears, yelling, whatever. It was really hard for me – especially the silence. We always want to rush to resolution. However, being with someone, and truly listening, creates a bond that goes beyond the words.

    Will share.


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