When it comes down to it, nothing matters more than the people we’re connected to, but you have to do more than make an initial connection to have relationships that matter. Those relationships support and sustain us through good times and bad, so it’s important to foster the health of our personal and professional relationships.

Whether we’re celebrating Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, we will have many opportunities to spend time with friends and family. It’s a wonderful time of year to make new friends and to build and strengthen relationships. Building relationships with others helps us feel connected and supported; our relationships help us know we’re not alone in the world. It isn’t difficult to do, but these steps can help you build bigger, better, stronger relationships:

Show Up

Eighty percent of success is showing up. – Woody Allen

Take time out of the work and chaos of the season to be social. Invited to a party? Say yes. Give yourself free time to attend community, social and networking events; it’s an easy and way to see friends and connections. Building relationships begins by simply showing up.

Listen More

We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. – Epictetus

When you take the time to listen and understand what another person needs, you build depth and value in the relationship. By listening to hear instead of listening to respond, you demonstrate how much you value the other person.

Communicate Often

Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success. – Paul J. Meyer

Whether you send a newsy email, a short text, or chat live, communicate often. Relationships (in love and in business) are nourished by the time and effort you invest in them. By reaching out to say, hello, how are you? you show the person that you care.

Help Others Succeed

Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’ – Brian Tracy

Be a mentor. Make an introduction. Connect people who can help each other. Your relationships have likely helped you get where you are, so be sure to pay it forward.

Have Fun Together

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. – Plato

Whether you travel together, do humanitarian work together, or take a hands-on class together, when you do something fun together, it deepens your relationship.