Transformational vs. Transactional Relationships 

Transformational– Someone gives you something without expecting to receive something.

– A person shares their gifts with you free of charge or in exchange for something you do for them. 

– A person “consults” with you by offering you knowledge, resources and advice to help you. 

– A person makes an important introduction to someone in their network to help you. 

– A person listens to you & provides you with emotional & social support during difficult times. 


– Someone only calls when they want something from you

– Someone takes no interest in your goals, wishes, victories or challenges. 

– You’re always footing the bill (for meals, activities, etc).

– Someone feels entitled and gives you an attitude when you don’t/can’t give them what they want.

– You’re reluctant to speak to/spend time with a person because you feel like they always want something & the relationship feels unbalanced. 

Transactional relationships are not necessarily bad. It is important that both people understand what it is… an exchange of goods or services for goods or services. There is very little “personal” time and the exchange usually happens at the same time or within a short term window. 

 Transformational relationships are relationships where there is an exchange of energy, commitment & values. One person may receive goods, services, knowledge or resources, while the other has no expectation of the “favor” being exchanged. 

Transformational relationships are not usually bound by time. The glue that holds them together is love, respect & unity. Some relationships are more transformational than others. 

I try to maintain transformational relationships by always keeping my eye out for opportunities. For example I frequently share employment resources & information about free family friendly events. I’m also a good writer & editor, so I’m always willing to edit documents, help people write essays & brainstorm with people. 

When it comes to coming in contact with people who I feel just want to use me, I usually make the decision to just give them what they want & quickly move on OR I simply decline their request & let them know why (e.g. I’m not going to make that connection because I haven’t known you long enough & don’t want to jeopardize the relationship) or (I’m not interested in doing that or going there for this reason, let me know if I can be helpful in another way).

Finally, when it comes to connecting people, I usually check in with the person being connected to first, to make sure they are ok with me sharing their contact information or making the connection. It’s so important to ask someone first before making a connection because you never know what type of relationship an individual has with another person or brand. You could damage your reputation by connecting someone to another person they do not want to be connected to, for whatever reason. Never pass on someone’s contact information without getting their consent first. 

Feel free to share more tips in the comments section! 

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