Intentionally Building Positive Relationships

Apr 20, 2017 11:00:00 AM |

Lillian Jenkins

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Building Relationships-848128-edited.jpgI was raised with deep faith, tradition, and intentional communication as core family values. As one of 12 children—six boys and six girls—I grew up celebrating holidays with untold numbers of relatives, going to church and staying long afterwards just to fellowship and communicate with others, and staying up late Friday nights to celebrate the end of a school week. Some of my fondest memories, then and now, are of multiple generations of women in the house having a cup of coffee or tea and long conversations at the kitchen table. 

These values and traditions were not lost on me when I had a family of my own. I established my own custom of Sunday dinners at the dining room table and nightly supper at the kitchen table where we turn off the television, remove any interference, and have a long leisurely meal and conversation. When my children and any family or friends come over and we share dinner or coffee, it’s exclusively to fellowship and communicate with one another. I treasure that time, and having majored in sociology, I understand the societal importance of such a tradition.

You see, eating together in ancient times was a way to seal a contract or arrangement, negotiate, resolve a conflict, or celebrate the end of a war or the beginning of a truce. A meal was also used to celebrate weddings, births, and other rites of passage. In times of death, sharing a meal is a common way to console and surround one another to provide comfort and care. In each of these ways, relationships are built and strengthened through a meal. What is served is not nearly as important as simply setting aside the time, valuing the relationships, and opening up the dialog. It has long been an intentional, brilliant strategy to keep family relationships valued, strong and connected.

At HORNE, we have what we call a Sunday Lunch tradition. This is an equally intentional and brilliant undertaking with the same mission many meals have had for centuries. Gathering around the table and sharing a meal solidifies the notion that we are one team, moving in one direction. Sunday Lunch fosters feedback necessary for a company to thrive. It also affirms the value of each team member who is part of the HORNE family and increases the depth of the relationship we have with one another as we successfully navigate the Wise Firm culture. It’s an opportunity to sit across the table from senior management, partners and others team members and engage in casual conversation.

I have worked for other companies but have never experienced this type of intentional gathering until HORNE. After six years, I continue to enjoy Sunday Lunch and look forward to the relationships it establishes. Are you being intentional to remove the interference and connect with those around you? Don’t wait for a holiday or the next big event to spend intentional time with those around you!

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About the Author

Lillian Jenkins.jpgLillian is a supervisor in government services at HORNE LLP where she specializes in compliance monitoring of CDBG funds, program guidelines, contractual agreements and state and federal regulations. She is passionate about building meaningful relationships and leading her team and her clients to reach their full potential.


At HORNE, culture matters. So much so, we named our culture the Wise Firm© (yes, it really has a name). It is what we are and what we aspire to be, and we are building it together. To find out how you can help build the Wise Firm, visit the Join Our Team page on

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